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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2650 ..

have included $1.9 million in the 2020-2021 budget for five specialist homelessness programs supporting crisis accommodation, transitional housing, domestic violence counselling, education, support and advocacy services in response to COVID-19 as part of the government’s commitment to increase the capacity of the sector.

This is something that we have been working on closely with the community sector to make sure that we are outcomes-focused and have a genuine co-design approach to better support Canberrans in need and reach the goal of a home for all. It is about targeting the critical issues that the sector is seeing to improve outcomes for all. This funding is part of the ACT government’s commitment to invest $80 million in specialist homelessness services over the term and improve access and outcomes for people in need. This is action, not talking about action.

Additionally, this will see an across-the-board boost for community sector organisations, raising their funding base by 12.7 per cent. This base funding rate has not increased for approximately nine years. So this is a significant commitment that will help the sector deliver early intervention and crisis support and improve outcomes for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

The 12.7 per cent increase in funding across the specialist homelessness sector comprises a 10.2 per cent increase from the ACT government, alongside the 2.5 per cent increase for community sector indexation that was spoken about by Minister Stephen-Smith. It will be applied across the specialist homelessness sector based on existing funding and is therefore not a single amount provided to all organisations in the sector but are different amounts, dependent on the current level of funding. This funding will help specialist homelessness services enhance their resources and do work such as retaining sector knowledge, security and the retention and attraction of skilled staff, and the provision of equipment to support the delivery of more outputs and achieve better outcomes, in turn reducing staff burnout due to the workload pressures that they are feeling.

The ACT government will continue to deliver on its commitment to expand the capacity of the specialist homelessness sector. We look forward to working with them as we focus on outcomes of service users, and that balances early support and crisis responses for those who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

I take the opportunity to personally thank all the staff working in community sector organisations. These essential workers, who have continued to provide support, are doing it most tough in this challenging time. We deeply value your partnership and know that the work that you do every day makes a difference to the lives of individuals and households and makes our community a more inclusive, compassionate and connected place.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.51): Mr Deputy Speaker, I have received advice that Mrs Kikkert’s amendment offends standing order 136. I ask that you rule it out of order.

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