Page 3469 - Week 09 - Thursday, 21 August 2008

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collaboration, effort and commitment of key stakeholders, both at the service provider and departmental level.

The ACT Homelessness Committee oversaw the implementation of the strategy. It was comprised of members from the Australian government, ACT government agencies and the community. The role of community agencies, from peak bodies such as ACTCOSS, ACT Shelter, ACT Churches Council and the Youth Coalition of the ACT, to the front-line homelessness services, in the successes so far cannot be overstated.

Although this strategy has enjoyed numerous successes, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. There is hard work ahead of us, and much of it. The evaluation of the strategy outlines for us the elements and focuses that need be considered as we take forward the work carried out so far.

In the next steps on carrying the work forward, as announced on 14 August, the Chief Minister has reconvened an affordable housing steering group. The steering group will advise government on options for an array of housing types. It will also consider the homelessness policies being developed by the commonwealth, including through the Council of Australian Government Housing Working Group, and it will examine how the ACT government can expand on or complement these.

The steering group will be chaired by the Chief Minister’s Department and will include officers from the Department of Treasury and the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. Other agencies will be involved on specific issues as necessary. An advisory group made up of representatives from peak housing bodies, welfare organisations and social services will feed its expertise into the project.

The steering group will provide an interim report to government by February 2009, with a final report by April 2009. In tabling this report, I would like to acknowledge the work of the ACT Homelessness Committee, and I would like to thank its members for their work over the past three years. I would also like to acknowledge the contribution under Minister Hargreaves’s leadership of Housing ACT to providing the post-crisis response to homelessness. Its reforms were instrumental in our struggle against homelessness.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, with which the overall responsibility for the delivery of the strategy has sat. I also look forward to our future achievements as we address and respond to the causes and effects of homelessness as a community and build on the work of Breaking the cycle: the ACT homelessness strategy.

Pathways for homelessness into home ownership

Ministerial statement

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.48): I seek leave to make a statement relating to homelessness and to home ownership.

Leave granted.

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