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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 11033


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (10:32): Recently it was my honour to officially relaunch in my electorate of Dunkley the homeless meals service not only for those who are homeless but also for those who are vulnerable and in need. This is run out of the Chisholm Institute by the Frankston Churches Breakfast Club and Frankston Life, formerly known as City Life, who have worked with me and several other groups to get this service back up and running. It has taken a lot of dedication from all parties to do so.

I first started advocating to bring back the meals service more than a year ago, bringing together several groups across the community. Many people said it would be impossible and that I wouldn't be able to achieve this with the other groups, but our persistence has paid off. Thank you to everyone involved in our committee who has helped to get this crucial local service back up and running, including Frankston Life, the Frankston Churches Breakfast Club, Community Support Frankston, Frankston City Council, Lifegate, John Paul College, Theodora's Cheerful Givers, Seaford Housing Action Coalition combined with the Seaford Community Committee, That's The Thing About Fishing and Chisholm Institute. Thanks also in particular to Chisholm Institute's CEO, Dr Rick Ede, who was so willing to come on board to offer a site at the Chisholm campus to hold the meals service. The breakfast service is currently operating two mornings a week, and it is our hope to expand this service to include more breakfasts, and also dinners, for the less fortunate.

In addition to this, I have also been fighting to secure the availability of regular, permanent and free hot showers and change facilities in our local area for those who are homeless, vulnerable and in need. During National Homelessness Week in August, Helena from Donation Chain spent a week during winter going without showers. At the end of that week, she used one of the cold showers along the Frankston foreshore. These public cold showers are the only option for those who need or want to use these facilities. It's really not an option, it's not a choice, and in the middle of winter it can be so cold. It provides no privacy either.

It is important that the community has worked together to provide assistance for those who may not have those facilities available to them. I recently announced $10,000 in federal government funding to put towards building these public hot shower facilities, subject to finding the location, as well as securing matching funding and support. Together we've been working with and advocating for Frankston City Council and others to come on board with a site. It was fantastic news to hear only a couple of evenings ago that Frankston City Council have matched our funding with $10,000 of funding to build a hot shower within the facilities of the comfort station in Frankston. This is a crucial step to provide essential extra services to those in need. Thank you to Helena and her team at Donation Chain, in particular, for their advocacy. Let's continue to go ahead with this project as well as the meals services.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr McVeigh ): Before I call the next member, I state that, if no member present objects, three-minute constituency statements may continue for a total of 60 minutes.