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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3108 ..


The second goal in the strategy is to reduce homelessness, and I know that everyone in this chamber is committed to doing everything we can to, in fact, eliminate homelessness. Over this last year we have been working closely with our community partners to identify new programs and approaches so that we can be confident that everyone has a safe place to sleep each night. The 2020 COVID-19 outbreak did spark the opportunity for a range of new programs and services that saw a growing of capacity within the sector and sat within the Housing Strategy outcomes.

As we move into year 4 of the Housing Strategy there is still more to do, and once again we are facing additional complexity due to the global pandemic. With the COVID-19 outbreak this year, we have once again seen the sector step up and do incredible work in supporting some of our most vulnerable community members. The services that were developed last year, particularly in providing flexible funding, have been a vital tool in supporting people experiencing homelessness over the previous period that was so challenging.

As Minister Berry noted in her ministerial statement, the government continues to work with our partners to expand and provide a wider range of permanent supportive accommodation solutions to those who need them. I am really excited that we will soon see come on stream programs including Wellbeing houses, expanded Axial Housing programs, Common Ground Dickson and a third older persons complex for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Also, as identified by Minister Berry, we continue to work closely with the homelessness sector to ensure that the sector and the system are meeting everyone’s needs.

We have talked about the importance of lifting the funding base of services, due to the added complexity and demand of the homelessness services sector, and it was a real delight to be able to announce the funding boost of 12.7 per cent for homelessness services, in recognition of that significant increase in demand and complexity. We continue to work with the sector and, as Minister Berry noted, it was really great to be able to come together with the sector in a co-design workshop as we work towards the development of new service agreements in 2023.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.17): Wow! All I can say is wow. This government marking itself on the Housing Strategy report card is like a convicted criminal being allowed to decide his own sentence, really, isn’t it? I just cannot believe that—after what we have seen on the streets every day, at auctions, at open homes, what we see going on in public housing, and when we see the ABC reporting that people are leaving town because they cannot afford to put a roof over their heads—this government has given itself a pass mark on this assessment.

If this is a pass, I do not think we want to see a fail. If this is a pass, I do not know what a fail looks like. How is your primary goal of achieving an equitable supply of housing for the ACT community going? I do not know. How would members mark us on that front?

The minister tells us that we are succeeding on every front; we are kicking goals all over the place. Honestly, I just wonder if the minister printed the right speech or if it


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