Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Youth Homelessness on Agenda in Launceston

Tanya Plibersek and Member for Bass, Jodie Campbell today toured the Karinya Young Womyn’s Service in Launceston.

Karinya Young Womyn’s Service was developed in 1979 and provides important support for young women aged 13-20 who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness by offering crisis assessment, an information and referral service, overnight emergency beds and case planning and support.

Karinya is funded through the Supported Assistance Accommodation Program, one of 38 agencies in Tasmania that receive almost $15 million in funding each year to provide help to around 47,000 Tasmanians every year.

The shelter is the only service catering for this client group in northern Tasmania.

A report released in September by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found there were 105,000 Australians who were homeless on Census night in 2006, up from 99,900 in 2001.

“While the overall number of homeless Australians was up, the 21 per cent decrease in the number of homeless youth between 2001 and 2006 is an improvement which can be attributed to the good work of services like Karinya,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Addressing homelessness is a major priority for the Government, with an additional $150 million already announced to build new homes for homeless Australians under A Place To Call Home and a White Paper on homelessness due to be released later this year.”

Ms Campbell said today’s visit provided a great opportunity to listen to the issues faced by clients and staff at Karinya.

“This was a great opportunity for the Minister to see first hand some of the amazing work being done in Northern Tasmania to support those who are vulnerable in our community,” Ms Campbell said.

“This was valuable feedback as the Government shapes a long-term plan to address homelessness over the next decade.”