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Support for the vulnerable in Homeless Persons' Week.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister for Human Services

Friday 8 August 2008

Support for the vulnerable in Homeless Persons’ Week

Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, has praised Centrelink and its employees for their efforts to help the homeless during National Homeless Persons’ Week.

While Centrelink has been working hard on the Rudd Government’s homelessness agenda, its staff members have been donating their time and energy to the cause.

Centrelink staff are located throughout communities across Australia and they have been staging fund-raising events in towns and cities in support of Homeless Persons Week. They include:

• CANBERRA: Senior executives from Centrelink will be sleeping out at the National Office tonight, Friday August 8, to raise money for the ACT men’s shelter, Samaritan House.

• NSW: Centrelink executives in the Hunter region, Central Coast and Mid-North Coast will be taking part in a sleep-out in Newcastle. About 40 managers will sleep out in the car park of the Charlestown Centrelink Area Office on Wednesday 27 August, to aid the Wesley Newcastle City Mission and the Samaritans’ Emergency Relief Centre.

• WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Staff have taken part in a blanket drive, donating clothing and other essentials. These items are being sent to welfare agencies which care for the State’s homeless.

• QUEENSLAND: Centrelink offices from Brisbane to Bundaberg have been collecting food and clothing packs for the local homeless, while others are fund-raising by cooking special morning teas or dressing casual for a day.

National Homeless Persons’ Week (Monday 4 August to Sunday 10 August) highlights the problems facing homeless people in Australia.

“The Australian Government, through Centrelink and other agencies, is committed to helping the vulnerable in our community,” Senator Ludwig said.

“We have been consulting widely with the community on the homelessness green paper'Which Way Home? A New Approach to Homelessness' which will form the basis for a white paper due to be released in late September”

“It’s important to find creative ways of supporting the nation’s most vulnerable people.”

Centrelink staff across the country have been using National Homeless Persons’ Week as an opportunity to raise awareness and money for local homelessness groups.

“It is great to see Centrelink staff being proactive and supporting their local communities,” Senator Ludwig said.

Minister’s Media Contact: Joe Scavo 0413 800 757