Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Governments target homelessness in Western Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Robyn McSweeney MP, Western Australian Minister for Child Protection
    Sharryn Jackson MP, Federal Member for Hasluck

The Australian and Western Australian Governments are providing an additional $135.1 million over four years to reduce homelessness through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

On Census night in 2006, more than 13,000 Western Australians were homeless. The Australian and Western Australian Governments are committed to reducing homelessness.

Western Australian Minister for Child Protection, Robyn McSweeney and Member for Hasluck, Sharryn Jackson today outlined a range of initiatives the WA Government will deliver through this increased funding.

New services will support private and public tenants to help sustain their tenancies, including through tenancy support, advocacy, case management, financial counselling and referral services.

Homelessness will be prevented by providing more help to support people leaving state care with the transition to independent life.

A Foyer model will be developed to provide secure accommodation for homeless young people who need it while they participate in education and/or employment.

To break the cycle of homelessness, assertive outreach teams, supported by specialist mobile clinical teams for mental health, drug and alcohol assessment, treatment and referral, will provide intensive support including access to stable accommodation for rough sleepers in inner city-Perth and Fremantle.

To reach people in remote areas, assertive outreach programs in the Kimberley and Goldfields regions will help to connect rough sleepers to long term housing and health services.

Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the Rudd Government has made reducing homelessness a national priority since coming to office.

‘The Rudd Government understands that Australians are doing it tough as we battle the worst global recession in 75 years,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘The new National Partnership Agreement provides an additional $135.1 million over four years for Western Australia.’

Mrs McSweeney said the National Partnership Agreement comprises almost $68.3 million from the Western Australian Government and $66.8 million from the Australian Government.

‘Through the NPA, we are working to make significant progress to provide additional support for homelessness and improve delivery of mainstream services to people who are homeless,’ Mrs McSweeney said.

‘The Western Australian Implementation Plan will improve support for homeless people by providing integrated responses and better connection with mainstream services.’

Ms Jackson said the Rudd Government will continue to work closely with the Western Australian Government and the community sector to implement these new initiatives.’

‘Early intervention is the key. We want to be able to reach out to people at risk of becoming homeless. If we get in early with intensive support we can help break the cycle of homelessness,’ Ms Jackson said.

The Australian and Western Australian governments are also rolling out 286 new social housing dwellings across the state as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, with more to come in Stage 2.

In addition, the supply of affordable housing will be boosted by 50,000 affordable rental properties across the country under the co-funded National Rental Affordability Scheme.

The Rudd Government’s Homelessness White Paper contains ambitious targets – to halve homelessness and offer accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.