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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (6 August) . .

Page.. 2114..

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.03): I move the following amendment to Mr Barr's proposed amendments:

In paragraph (1)(g), after "poverty", insert the words ", domestic and family violence".

MS LAWDER: Very briefly, as Mr Rattenbury has already mentioned, according to the 2011 census, 26.4 per cent of people experiencing homelessness cited domestic violence and relationship issues as the primary cause for becoming homeless. Others included financial difficulties, 21.7 per cent; accommodation issues, 32.2 per cent; health reasons, 6.5 per cent; and other—such as transition from care, custody, lack of support and discrimination—13.2 per cent. Hence I felt that it was important enough to specifically add domestic violence. I hope that will get the support of the Assembly.

Amendment to proposed amendments agreed to.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question now is that Mr Barr's proposed amendments, as amended by Ms Lawder's amendment, be agreed to.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.04): I will speak to the proposed amendments, as amended, and to the motion. As Minister Barr said, homelessness is a complex issue. There is no single solution, and if it was simple we would have fixed it by now. I note Mr Barr's point about the national rental affordability scheme, and I will give you my two cents worth. I support your comment, but if NRAS is to continue, better alignment is needed with ACT policy objectives, and greater contestability between NRAS bidders. The Canberra Liberals absolutely support initiatives such as the construction of Common Ground Canberra. It is a fantastic initiative. But do not forget that it is only 40 homes. It leaves 1,745 people still counted as homeless, so we cannot rely solely on these initiatives.

Prior to joining the Assembly I worked with a range of dedicated, passionate professionals in the homelessness sector. They worked every day and every night to assist vulnerable people. Mr Rattenbury is right to commend the work of those people. They work long hours, often under very difficult conditions, and they help to make our society a better place.

In closing, I would like to thank Minister Barr, Ms Berry, Minister Rattenbury and the government generally for their support of this motion today and their commitment to working on the issue of reducing and preventing homelessness. I thank Mr Barr for his thoughtful amendments. I commend the amended motion, as amended, to the Assembly.

Amendments, as amended, agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

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