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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1732 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the Stanhope government is committed to providing a range of housing and support options that better meet the needs of young people and their families. Ensuring access to safe, secure and affordable housing is a high priority and a key strategy in reducing poverty and addressing disadvantage. For young people in particular, the provision of accommodation and housing support requires strong support networks and education opportunities.

This report provides an overview of the Stanhope government's approach to the prevention of youth homelessness and the provision of housing, accommodation and associated support. The report provides an overview of the range of current service delivery and programatic responses, highlights recent housing-related activity implemented by the Stanhope government, and outlines the next steps or considerations in addressing the issues. A wide range of programs are currently being provided by the government and non-government organisations to address the effect of youth homelessness and provide support to young people and their families.

Mr Speaker, the ACT government seeks to ensure that future service delivery matches identified community need, paying particular attention to local responses to social need as a matter of high priority. This approach will be reflected in new contractual arrangements with service providers for 2002/03. Consideration of service performance, service mix and geographic location will inform funding priorities. The needs of young people in North Canberra and West Belconnen will be a priority.

A range of initiatives will ensure an informed approach is taken, including the proposed homeless advisory group, youth housing task force report, affordable housing task force and the homelessness needs analysis project. The homelessness needs analysis project in particular will make a range of recommendations regarding appropriate service models for homeless people in the ACT. The need for holistic service delivery and service integration is reflected in a wide body of research and policy frameworks locally, nationally and internationally.

An increasing focus will be placed on early intervention strategies that seek to prevent homelessness and family breakdown. A strong emphasis is made in the research on the need for effective links across program, departmental and governmental boundaries in achieving effective responses to complex needs, including homelessness and the provision of housing assistance.

Mr Speaker, the Stanhope government believes that it is important to prevent young people from reaching housing crisis, in addition to ensuring appropriate assistance for young people already experiencing housing crisis or who are in need of housing.

I commend the report to the Assembly.

Land (Planning and Environment) Act-direction

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper which relates to Narrabundah, section 129:

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