Media Release by The Hon Melissa Parke MP

Exploring homelessness responses at national summit

Parliamentary Secretary for Homelessness and Social Housing Melissa Parke today met with key stakeholders at the National Homelessness Summit in Sydney to discuss approaches and innovation in tackling homelessness.

Ms Parke reaffirmed the importance of collaboration between government and service providers, and called on the Queensland, Western Australian and the Northern Territory state governments to sign on to the transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

“This summit is a great opportunity to share ideas and look at innovative projects underway to support some of our most vulnerable Australians,” Ms Parke said.

“Forums like this are critical in making sure we continue to improve our response to homelessness and give people the tailored support they need, when they need it.

“This summit truly reflects the way government and service providers are working together to reduce homelessness in Australia.”

Ms Parke said all state and territory housing ministers confirmed their commitment to continuing critical homelessness services at the COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness meeting in March.

“The Federal Government has committed $159 million to the 2013-14 transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness,” Ms Parke said.

“Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, and the ACT have all committed funding for their share of the agreement, giving homelessness services the certainty they need to continue delivering critical support.

“It’s now time for Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to step up and finance their share.”

Ms Parke said homelessness is a national priority and reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to halving the rate of homelessness by 2020.

“We continue to work with stakeholder groups to reduce homelessness through prevention, early intervention, and by delivering strong, timely and integrated assistance,” Ms Parke said.

“The Federal Government has invested an unprecedented $26 billion towards social housing and associated services to reduce the rate of homelessness.

“But we know the best way to achieve real results is through joint responsibility and collaborative action.”