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Monday, 15 November 2010
Page: 1131

Senator ARBIB (Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness) (12:53 PM) —I rise in summation on this very important piece of legislation, especially given my portfolio responsibilities in terms of homelessness. The Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Weekly Payments) Bill 2010 will implement in the repatriation system an important element of the government’s strategy to address homelessness. The bill will enable the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to offer the option of weekly pension payments. This option will be available to those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless and who would benefit from weekly payments. This measure is an important component of the government’s strategy to reduce homelessness. While the measure does not affect the total amount of pension a person can receive, the availability of weekly payments will assist vulnerable clients to better manage their money. This action, in conjunction with other elements of the government’s strategy, can contribute to stabilising and improving the circumstances of those who may be facing homelessness.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.