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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1231..

Emergency accommodation hotline

(Question No 1345)

Mrs Burke

asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice:

(1) In relation to the emergency accommodation hotline's second six months of operation, how many telephone calls were received;

(2) How many of these telephone calls were from (a) males and (b) females;

(3) How many of the callers in categories (a) and (b) above had children that also required accommodation, please indicate separately for each category;

(4) Of those telephone calls, how many people were homeless and required emergency or crisis accommodation;

(5) Who has Lifeline been referring callers to for emergency accommodation provisions;

(6) How much of the $205 000 allocated to this program was expended in the first year and were additional funds expended; if so, how much in additional funds and where did those funds come from;

(7) Is there any time during the last six months that the hotline has not been in operation; if so, when and for how long;

(8) In relation to the Emergency Accommodation Fund (EAF), (a) what is the total of the EAF, (b) have funds been dispensed from the EAF, (c) where did the money in the EAF come from and (d) for what purposes were any funds spent.

Mr Wood

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The emergency accommodation hotline received 1116 calls in the second six months of operation.

(2) Lifeline maintains strict policies that support the confidentiality of callers to the emergency accommodation hotline. The service does not record the gender of callers or any other information that could identify callers.

(3) The service does not record the gender of callers. Of the calls received, 901 were from or in relation to single people. 198 were from or in relation to family units. A family unit includes couples, single parents with children and couples with children.

There is a discrepancy of 17 in the number of calls received by the emergency accommodation hotline and the number of calls recorded that relate to individuals or family units. This can be explained by the fact that Lifeline does not ask callers any questions about their situation, but they rely on the information offered by callers to collect their data. In some situations, there may not be enough information offered by a caller to record accurate data on their reasons for accessing the telephone hotline.

(4) 901 people/family units identified as needing emergency accommodation. This figure may include people who call more than once on any given day or different member of the

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