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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7621


Senator LINES (Western Australia) (13:57): It is Anti-Poverty Week this week, and we have seen a number of events across the country. I know that many of those who help the poorest and most disadvantaged in our community have been in the parliament this week lobbying about the very real needs of those people living and working below the poverty line in Australia. Unfortunately, they have been disappointed. We have not seen any movement from the new management—Prime Minister Turnbull—about helping Australians who need a hand. We still do not have anything new on the affordable housing front, and the same old, same old policy of pushing these issues back to the states remains. There is no new agenda on affordable housing.

On homelessness, which is on the increase, particularly in my home state of Western Australia, we have seen nothing. The homelessness numbers in the city of Perth continue to increase, and yet we still have nothing new from the Turnbull government. It is the same old, same old policies of: 'So sad, you're homeless. You need to rely on the state government.' In Western Australia, the state government is doing appallingly badly with its economic mismanagement and has no money, and the federal government has done nothing to support homelessness across this country.

The attacks on pensioners continue. The Turnbull government could have started afresh and taken away their cruel attacks on pensioners. But, no, pensioners continue to scrape by week to week, relying on family and, particularly, for those in the private rental market, life has got much tougher for them under the Turnbull government.

Again, what has happened to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our country? It has gone completely off the agenda as this government continues to look after the big end of town. It continues with the cruel policies of the old management under new Prime Minister Turnbull—same old, same old; it might be new management but it is business as usual and we have all seen those signs before. Business as usual: so watch out ordinary Australians.

The PRESIDENT: It being 2 pm, we will now proceed to questions without notice.