Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Government Launches Homelessness Green Paper

The Australian Government today launched its Green Paper – Which Way Home? A new approach to homelessness.

The Green Paper is a concrete step in developing a ten year plan for tackling homelessness.

After 17 years of strong economic growth it is unacceptable that 100,000 Australians are homeless on any given night, including 10,000 children.

Which Way Home? highlights the challenges faced by people who are homeless and analyses Australia’s response.

The Green Paper puts forward concrete options for reform of our response to homelessness.

There are excellent programs across the country which reduce homelessness but they are not of sufficient size or scale to make the impact required to reduce the problem we confront.

The Green Paper acknowledges that while improved housing outcomes must underpin our response to homelessness, housing alone is not sufficient to the achievement of long term improvements.

The Green Paper also advocates a greater focus on prevention and early intervention.

Reducing homelessness is a shared responsibility that requires a national commitment and strong leadership from all levels of government and from the not-for-profit and business sectors.

The launch of the paper marks the start of a public consultation process, including public forums and a request for written submissions.

The Government wants to know what the broader Australian community thinks – including people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness, service providers, business and individuals.

Consultation sessions will be held in 12 locations across Australia. These sessions will start in Perth on Wednesday, 28 May.

Consultations will also be held in Karratha, Townsville, Darwin/Palmerston, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Lismore, Hobart and Adelaide.

Feedback on the Green Paper will be used to inform the White Paper, which will include a comprehensive national action plan to reduce homelessness in the lead up to 2020.

The Green Paper and information about the consultation process are available at Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ( or by calling 1800 774 055.