SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
ABBOTT WILL PUSH WOMEN AND CHILDREN ONTO THE STREETS
Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison has all but confirmed the Abbott Government's intention to remove any Commonwealth responsibility for housing and homelessness services, leaving women and children fleeing family violence at risk of becoming homeless.
While criticising the Victorian and Queensland state governments for not yet signing up to the two-year extension of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), Mr Morrison said that addressing the issue of homelessness was principally the responsibility of the states and territories.
The Abbott Government's lack of commitment to ending homelessness is appalling and it is becoming clear they are washing their hands of any responsibility.
Tony Abbott abolished the Prime Minister's Council on Homelessness and then went on to cut funding from the NPAH, representing a shortfall of $88 million in capital expenditure for homelessness services over the next two years.
He has completely ignored the fact that the capital component of the NPAH helped build a safe roof over the heads of women, children and young people, especially when it comes to fleeing domestic and family violence.
Mr Morrison's description of the two-year funding extension through the NPAH as "bridging funding" confirms the Government's intention to discontinue any funding for homelessness services.
Twenty five per cent of people seeking homelessness services are women and children fleeing domestic and family violence.
Specialised frontline housing plays a critical role in keeping women and children safe from family violence and the Abbott Government has not been supporting the services that can keep them safe.
Labor continues to call on the Prime Minister to hold a National Crisis Summit on Family Violence and to support their $70 million interim package of measures to make sure women get the legal support they need and have somewhere safe to go. This includes:
- Almost $50 million to legal services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services to ensure women suffering from family violence have appropriate legal support;
- Initial investment of $15 million in Safe at Home grants to help people affected by family violence stay safe in their own home; and
- An investment of $8 million in perpetrator interaction mapping.
Labor is committed to considering a range of policy approaches to prevent family violence and recognise the need for national leadership.
MONDAY, 6 JULY 2015
MELINDA EADES (MCLUCAS) 0408 743 457
MEREDITH HORNE (MOORE) 0416 278 785