Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian and Tasmanian Governments sign the fifth Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP V)

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon David Llewellyn MHA, Tasmanian Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Human Services

Funding for services supporting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is now assured with the signing of the fifth Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP V) between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, and the Tasmanian Minister for Health and Human Services and Tasmanian Deputy Premier, the Hon David Llewellyn MHA, today announced a five-year funding commitment to the provision of homelessness services.

The Australian Government will contribute $932 million over five years to SAAP V, with $38.5 million going directly to Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government will contribute $36.5 million over five years. This includes almost $3 million in additional cash, over and above the minimum amount the Australian Government asked the Tasmanian Government to contribute under SAAP V.

Senator Patterson said the Tasmanian Government’s efforts to undertake significant reform of the SAAP sector during the life of SAAP IV did not go unnoticed by the Australian Government.

“One of the significant differences between the SAAP IV and SAAP V agreements is the jointly funded Innovation and Investment Fund worth almost $120 million. I insisted on the establishment of this fund to drive strategic reform in the SAAP sector.

“The fund will identify ways of reducing the high rates of return to SAAP services by improving pre-crisis intervention, post-crisis transition and linkages to other services, including mental health and employment support services.

“Around 30 per cent of service funding in Tasmania is already directed at services providing pre-crisis intervention and post-crisis transition support and I commend the Government for their efforts. This emphasis is consistent with the strategic priorities identified for SAAP V.

“The Australian Government looks forward to beginning negotiations around the development of the Bilateral Agreement with the Tasmanian Government, which will build on the high level objectives of the Multilateral Agreement while providing scope for Tasmania to address issues that are unique to its own SAAP sector, ” Senator Patterson said.

Minister Llewellyn welcomed entering into the Agreement saying that Tasmania looked forward to working in partnership with the Australian Government to continue to build on the reforms achieved over the past five years.

Bilateral negotiations with each State and Territory will be finalised by 31 January 2006 to give full effect to the SAAP V Agreement.