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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
    The Honourable Tracy Davis
    Minister for Housing and Public Works
    The Honourable Tim Mander

    Commonwealth Walks Away from Homelessness Commitment

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
    The Honourable Tracy Davis

    Minister for Housing and Public Works
    The Honourable Tim Mander

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Commonwealth Walks Away from Homelessness Commitment

    Queensland Communities Minister Tracy Davis and Housing Minister Tim Mander have accused the Federal Labor Government of walking away from its commitment to halve the rate of homelessness in Australia by 2020 by refusing to commit to long term funding.

    Both Ministers made the call ahead of Thursday’s Select Council on Housing and Homelessness in Melbourne, where the Commonwealth will formally seek the endorsement of all States and Territories for a new one year National Partnership on Homelessness (NPAH).

    The current five year agreement is due to expire on 30 June 2013.

    Ms Davis said under the terms of the new NPAH the Commonwealth was only offering base funding of $27.94 million to Queensland on a dollar for dollar basis in 2013/14, with no guarantee of future funding.

    “Whereas the Rudd Labor Government entered into long term funding agreements with the states and territories in an effort to address homelessness, the Gillard Government has not shown the same commitment,” Ms Davis said.

    “A one year agreement is not a long term funding solution to address homelessness; it’s a quick fix to get a Federal Government in crisis through to the next election.”

    Ms Davis said that given the current turmoil within the Federal Labor Party it was clear the Gillard Government was attempting to bury one of Kevin Rudd’s pet projects. 

    “It is a tragic state of affairs when we have a Federal Government prepared to use society’s most vulnerable people as pawns in an internal party conflict,” she said.

    Mr Mander said a long-term agreement was necessary to provide certainty for people currently utilising Commonwealth funded services.  

    “The Queensland Government is prepared to make more than $50 million available to tackle homelessness in 2013/14, twice as much as the Commonwealth is putting on the table.” Mr Mander said.

    “We want the Federal Government to play its part, but they need to get fair dinkum about this, and offer up a funding commitment that goes beyond the next 12 months.”

    Ms Davis said she would be urging the Commonwealth to match Queensland’s commitment, meaning that next year alone, more than $100 million would be available to help homeless people in Queensland.

    “If the Commonwealth doesn’t act now to lock in its funding for the future, it will be the people who rely on Commonwealth funded programs who will suffer,” she said.

    “In 2012/13 the Commonwealth provided for more than 17 Queensland based initiatives, delivered by more than 20 non-government organisations to approximately 15,000 clients.

    “Given the State Government has already allocated its 2013/14 homelessness resources, the failure of the Commonwealth to guarantee funding could result in some Commonwealth funded organisations ceasing to operate within weeks.

    “Because of their inability to look beyond the next election, Federal Labor is threatening Queensland programs that put roofs over needy people’s heads.”

     [ENDS] 27 March 2013

    Media Contact:          

    Minister Davis’ office             (07) 3235 4286

    Minister Mander’s office        (07) 3237 1832