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Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Page: 2392

Ms SHARKIE (Mayo) (17:17): Minister, I would like to talk about homeless services. The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness was extended in 2015 for just two years, and it is going to end next July 2017. This cycle of short-term funding impacts greatly upon the capacity of homeless services to make forward plans and operate efficiently. The uncertainty about future funding is crippling the sector and preventing long-term investment. Has your department conducted an evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness? If so, what were the main findings? If not, why not? Will funding for homeless services under a national framework be continued post-June 2015? When will details of such funding be released? Will the minister guarantee funding for homeless services will not be reduced by the Commonwealth?

The homeless service sector loses staff and momentum every day. There are delays in funding commitments, and with these funding commitments there have only been short-term time frames. If the government enters into a new national partnership with the states and territories on homelessness, will it commit to at least five years of funding to provide certainty for the sector and, if not, what time frame are you considering?