Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Conference to bring homeless sector together

Homelessness service providers and peak bodies from across Western Australia will come together today to share experiences and ideas at a conference in Perth.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor said the Leading the Road Home conference provided an ideal opportunity to examine the progress made to reduce homelessness across the State and to discuss future opportunities.

“While progress is being made, more needs to be done to reduce and prevent homelessness in our community,” Mr O’Connor said.

“We need all levels of government, the community and business sectors to work together to do all we can to support vulnerable Australians and break the cycle of homelessness.”

The conference was funded by the Gillard Government under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

Under the partnership, the Australian and Western Australian Governments will invest $135.16 million to deliver 18 new or expanded homelessness initiatives across the state.

“Homelessness is a complex issue, and the Gillard Government has made it a top priority,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Our investment in Western Australia has led to more than 2,900 assistances to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in 2010-11.

“That includes 68 homes under A Place to Call Home, which provides long term housing for people who are homeless.”

Other Gillard Government investment in Western Australia includes:

  • $2.24 million in 2011-12 for Reconnect, a program which helps young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with work, education and training; and
  • $590 million under the Social Housing Initiative to build almost 2,100 new homes and carry out repairs and maintenance to almost 10,500 existing homes.

“I look forward to hearing the ideas that come from today’s conference on how we can make further progress in supporting vulnerable Australians,” Mr O’Connor said.