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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7731

Mr LLEW O'BRIEN (Wide BayDeputy Nationals Whip) (13:52): In what could be a first in the history of this building, three members from this place and the Senate will sleep rough in the Parliament House courtyard—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr LLEW O'BRIEN: to raise funds for the St Vincent de Paul Society—Vinnies—on the Sunshine Coast. This Thursday night, the member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace; the member for Fairfax, Ted O'Brien; our Senate colleague James McGrath and I will join the 2018 Vinnies Sunshine Coast community sleep-out from the courtyard in this building. Others participating in the sleep-out on 23 August will be on the beach at Maroochydore. But, as we won't be able to get back in time, we'll be showing our support from here in Canberra.

While we get to go home after the event, there are thousands of people who are on our streets every night, whether through unemployment, mental illness, family breakdown, addiction or other unforeseen circumstances in life. This sleep-out is a good way to raise money for St Vinnies, to help them reach their $150,000 fundraising goal, to upgrade accommodation units for homeless people on the Sunshine Coast. I thank John Harrison, Sue Stack and all the staff who volunteer at St Vinnies Sunshine Coast for the good work that they do on this very serious issue of homelessness that we, on this side of the House, take seriously, unlike those who interjected before.