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Newman Government refuses to accept more money for homelessness



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Mark Butler

MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER ON MENTAL HEALTH REFORM

Media Release by The Hon Mark Butler MP

Newman Government refuses to accept more money for homelessness 28 March 2013

As if it wasn’t enough that the Newman Government has slashed funding to services that

support people with disability, older Australians and the mentally ill, they’ve now set their

sights on the homeless.

The Gillard Labor Government is offering to increase the level of funding to the Queensland

Government for homelessness services under the National Partnership Agreement on

Homelessness, but instead of accepting that new funding - and matching it - they’ve chosen

to use homeless Australians as a political football.

Mr Butler said the Australian Government had put up to $159 million on the table for states

and territories to continue vital services that tackle homelessness under the Agreement.

“We’ve put an offer on the table and other states have engaged constructively in negotiating

the agreement, but the Newman Government has again demonstrated its intent to put political

fights ahead of the best interests of Queenslanders,” Mr Butler said.

“Service providers need certainty about next year’s funding so that they can continue

providing critical support to some of our most vulnerable Australians and this will only be

resolved when states and territories sign on to this agreement.”

“But we all know what the Newman Government has done to social services since coming to

power - they’ve slashed funding to NGOs and then gagged those same NGOs from speaking

out against their crippling cuts.”

Since November 2012, the Newman Government has refused to provide detailed information

to determine the level of homelessness services funded under this National Partnership

Agreement on Homelessness.

Mr Butler said without this information there is no way of knowing where the services are

located, let alone how much funding each service receives or how much funding the

Commonwealth should provide.

“Queensland is the only state that has refused to supply this information - it’s a real shame

for people in Queensland who stand to lose from the Newman Government’s careless

approach.”

“This is not the way to try and secure essential services for Queensland’s most vulnerable

people.”

Mr Butler said the one-year transitional agreement for 2013-14 is an important first step as

the Government continues to work with the states and territories towards an integrated and

holistic response to homelessness beyond 2014.

The Gillard Labor Government has invested an unprecedented $20 billion in housing and

homelessness services since coming to Government and we remain committed to halving the

rate of homelessness by 2020 because every Australian deserves a safe and secure home.”

Newman Government refuses to accept more money for homelessness 28 March 2013

As if it wasn’t enough that the Newman Government has slashed funding to services that

support people with disability, older Australians and the mentally ill, they’ve now set their

sights on the homeless.

The Gillard Labor Government is offering to increase the level of funding to the Queensland

Government for homelessness services under the National Partnership Agreement on

Homelessness, but instead of accepting that new funding - and matching it - they’ve chosen

to use homeless Australians as a political football.

Mr Butler said the Australian Government had put up to $159 million on the table for states

and territories to continue vital services that tackle homelessness under the Agreement.

“We’ve put an offer on the table and other states have engaged constructively in negotiating

the agreement, but the Newman Government has again demonstrated its intent to put political

fights ahead of the best interests of Queenslanders,” Mr Butler said.

“Service providers need certainty about next year’s funding so that they can continue

providing critical support to some of our most vulnerable Australians and this will only be

resolved when states and territories sign on to this agreement.”

“But we all know what the Newman Government has done to social services since coming to

power - they’ve slashed funding to NGOs and then gagged those same NGOs from speaking

out against their crippling cuts.”

Since November 2012, the Newman Government has refused to provide detailed information

to determine the level of homelessness services funded under this National Partnership

Agreement on Homelessness.

Mr Butler said without this information there is no way of knowing where the services are

located, let alone how much funding each service receives or how much funding the

Commonwealth should provide.

“Queensland is the only state that has refused to supply this information - it’s a real shame

for people in Queensland who stand to lose from the Newman Government’s careless

approach.”

“This is not the way to try and secure essential services for Queensland’s most vulnerable

people.”

Mr Butler said the one-year transitional agreement for 2013-14 is an important first step as

the Government continues to work with the states and territories towards an integrated and

holistic response to homelessness beyond 2014.

The Gillard Labor Government has invested an unprecedented $20 billion in housing and

homelessness services since coming to Government and we remain committed to halving the

rate of homelessness by 2020 because every Australian deserves a safe and secure home.”