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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3391

Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle) (13:36): I rise today to call on the government to put an end to the cruel uncertainty that faces so many of our community services because of this government's refusal to commit to funding of their operations beyond 30 June. Yesterday, I met with Homelessness Australia to discuss the situation faced by their members and services across the country. They have every right to be worried about this government's failure to commit to the ongoing funding of their work. More than 3,000 workers around the country deliver 180 programs to some 80,000 Australians who depend on the support the programs offer. This is a sector that is already stretched, with more than 400 requests for help having to be turned away each day.

While campaigning in WA, I note that the Prime Minister, when pressed on the issue during a Perth radio interview two weeks ago, sought to give a veiled assurance to homeless service providers when he declared, 'Come budget night, all will be revealed, and I think people will be happy.' You may think this assurance is enough; however, I wish to reflect on what the now Prime Minister openly said in 2010 on the 7.30 Report, when he stated that 'commitments given on radio are not real commitments. Commitments must be on paper to be confirmed.'

Prime Minister, homelessness service providers need to know their fate now, not in seven weeks time on budget night. Are they listed in the hidden commission of cuts? Is their funding secure? They need to know now. I call on the Prime Minister to fund these— (Time expired)