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Wednesday, 24 August 1983
Page: 246

Question No. 155

Dr Charlesworth asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 17 May 1983:

(1) Is the Government committed to the continued funding of women's refuges in Perth.

(2) Is the number of homeless women without children in the Electoral Division of Perth increasing; if so, will special assistance be forthcoming for them.

Dr Blewett —The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes; and as an indication of its continuing commitment to provide crisis accommodation for homeless women and children throughout Australia, the Government recently announced that it would provide $4m to set up the national Women's Emergency Services Program.

The Program, to co-ordinate the provision of emergency services for women and children escaping from intolerable domestic situations will be undertaken in co- operation with the States and community groups.

(2) There are no statistics on the number of homeless women in the Perth Electorate. However, since there has been an increase in applications from organisations providing accommodation for homeless women and children in the Perth area, I have every reason to believe that the demand for services of this type has risen at the same level as in other parts of Australia.

Commonwealth support for crisis accommodation including youth refuges and shelter for the chronically homeless is currently under review. Details about funding will be made in the context of that review. It is, nevertheless, one of the Government's priorities to provide new services in areas of high need.