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Government lies - homeless youth pilot

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MEDIA STATEMENT^ Philip Ruddock MP Federal Member for Berowra Shadow Minister for Social Security

Electorate Tel: (02) 482 7111 Fax: (02) 482 7018

Parliament House Tel: (06) 277 4206 Fax: (06) 277 4178


'T h e Government's criticism of the Coalition's policy for hom eless youth is a scare campaign of blatant lies." Mr Philip Ruddock, Shadow Minister for Social Security and Seniors commented today.

At a dinner held for hom eless people in Dandenong, Simon Crean, the sam e man who defunded the highly successful JPET youth hom eless project, had the hide to criticise the proposal of the Coalition to introduce a two year pilot for young hom eless people.

Mr Ruddock said "Under a Coalition Government, young people will not be forced to remain or return to unsuitable family arrangem ents."

"Mr C rean's criticisms of the pilot are totally untrue and unfounded."

"Surely, Mr Crean is not advocating that young people who do not have a satisfactory reason to stay away from home should be able to elect not to return home and receive support on that basis."

"Mr C rean says that under the Coalition pilot, there will be "forced family mediation" He does not seem to appreciate that this phrase is an oxymoron. Mediation occurs where a person acts in an intermediary role between parties, with the aim of affecting reconciliation and agreement. It cannot be forced upon the parties."

"The Coalition does not and has never thought that mediation will be successful or even possible in all circumstances."

"As announced by Mr Howard in his "Fair Australia" speech, if reconciliation is not successful, a comprehensive support plan will be worked out with the young person to assist them with matters such a s securing housing and a cc ess to education and employment."

"Added to this, participation in the pilot schem e will be voluntary. A young person will have the option of participating in the pilot or may apply for a payment at the hom eless rate under the current requirements.

16 November 1995 Philip Ruddock MP Contact:(02) 925 3911 #25589