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Patterson fudges homeless funding figures.

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KELVIN THOMSON Media Release from the Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Roads, Shadow Minister for Housing and Urban Development

10 March 2005


At a time when more homeless Australians are sleeping rough each night than are able to be accommodated in homeless accommodation facilities, Minister Kay Patterson has again failed to convince Cabinet of the need for a real funding increase in her portfolio.

The Minister is demanding an extra $106 million in funding from the States to fund an "Innovations Pool" the Commonwealth will control.

In a classic case of 'fudging figures', Minister Patterson's fact sheet on this issue claims that "the Australian Government is offering $931.7 million for SAAP V compared to $833 million for SAAP IV."

The truth of the matter is that the SAAP core funding offer for States is in fact being reduced from the $833 million offered in the SAAP IV round to $825 million in SAAP V. The extra $106 million will not be provided by the Commonwealth Government, but will ultimately be made up through increased State contributions.

Clearly the Minister is again unable to deliver a real funding increase. She has pointed, in her public statements, to gambling tax revenue, when gambling is a significant cause of homelessness, as a possible funding panacea for State Governments.

This is nothing less than a rerun of Minister Patterson's failure to deliver on the Commonwealth State Healthcare Agreement while she was Minister for Health.

/Ends Canberra 10/03/2005 Contact: Cora Trevarthen 0418-770484