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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 1155..


MS BURCH (continuing):

During 2008 the ACT government investigated homelessness as part of the ACT affordable housing action plan. This work was undertaken in consultation with local experts providing front-line services in our community. The plan identified that homelessness in the ACT needs to focus not only on the provision of housing for people sleeping rough but must also include mechanisms to assist people to sustain and maintain stable tenancies. I think most others who have spoken this afternoon also recognise that. The plan also identified the importance of both support and services appropriate to addressing some of the causal factors that lead to homelessness, such as mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and the availability of employment opportunities, as equally important in breaking the cycle of homelessness.

In response to the need to create innovative solutions to homelessness in the ACT, the ACT government has committed to a range of new initiatives that will focus on preventing homelessness and on supporting those at greatest risk. A street to home program will receive $898,000 over the next four years to support the needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness. This program will provide assertive engagement and outreach to assist those people into appropriate housing and to maintain that housing. I recently announced the ACT Society of St Vincent de Paul as the successful tenderer for this service and the service has been operational since 1 March of this year.

A place to call home is an initiative that will receive $10 million over five years to provide 20 additional properties to accommodate homeless families and to provide those families with the necessary support to sustain their tenancies.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): The discussion is concluded.

Adjournment

Motion by Ms Burch proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Allegations against members' staff

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.24): Yesterday Mr Barr got stuck into Mr Hanson for reading "trashy questions that are fed to him by the guttersnipes on the Liberal Party staffers bench". Mr Barr's unparliamentary words inadvertently complimented our staff by insinuating that he had anticipated your dorothy dixer—that they had anticipated your dorothy dixer and had a supplementary ready for Mr Hanson to go. I know our staff are good and it is obvious that Mr Barr holds them in some awe, but they also have enough trust in their members to be able to come up with their own supps to the government's dixers.

The incident speaks volumes about the attitude that Mr Barr has for staff. We saw it during last year's estimates committee when he dropped his former chief of staff in it with his exposition of implausible deniability. The attitude that Labor members have


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