Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian Government final SAAP V funding offer to States and Territories

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson has today issued a revised SAAP V funding offer to the States and Territories to help them tackle homelessness.

Senator Patterson said the offer, which increases total funds available to the sector by around $300 million to a minimum of $1.77 billion, would be the final offer made to States and Territories and still requires them to fund half of the total SAAP Program funding for homeless services.

“The States and Territories have baulked at our offers to date because they have refused to fund half of the total SAAP Program funding for homeless services.

“They will be still expected to contribute half of SAAP funding, but the development of a new offer demonstrates my willingness and determination to get agreement from the States and Territories who for too long have been shirking their responsibility on homeless funding.

“To reach agreement I have also formalised an offer I made to the states during a meeting in March to phase in arrangements for States and Territories to meet our requirement that they provide half of the funding for SAAP services.

“The reconfigured offer also allows some state-only funded SAAP services to be included by individual States and Territories towards their contribution.

“I am also still determined that action is taken to address the strategic directions identified in the SAAP IV National Evaluation – better pre and post crisis support, and linkages with other services. An Innovation and Investment Fund will further progress reform in the sector.

“I think this is a more than fair and reasonable offer and I expect States and Territories to sign up quickly.

“In the interim, I have asked all States and Territories to agree to a three-month extension of the current SAAP IV Agreement to provide funding assurance for the SAAP sector.”