Page 3235 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

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MS BERRY: I do not agree that the government is not responding to the matter of rough sleepers in the city. We are the state or territory that provides the most funding in homelessness support. Our program, funded by the national partnership on housing—which will soon change with the National Affordable Housing Agreement—includes funding for night patrol, which is conducted by St Vincent de Paul. We also have funding for UnitingCare in the city, which provides services all through the week for people who are sleeping rough, need support or just need some companionship in spending some time with other people in the same place, getting a hot breakfast and accessing different services that might be available there.

Every time I have been made aware that there might have been an issue raised by an organisation like Safe Shelter, I have reached out to that organisation and made sure that they were put in touch with the professional organisations that can provide the best support to people who might be experiencing homelessness, and that they were put in touch with support services as well. I am also briefed every week on any changes to the numbers of rough sleepers who might be coming into this city or whom St Vincent de Paul, through its night patrol program, becomes aware of. I am advised that that number has not increased.

MR PARTON: Minister, how many people are utilising overnight shelters in the ACT?

MS BERRY: The ACT government does not fund any overnight shelters.

Mr Parton: You just said you were briefed every week.

MS BERRY: We do not fund Safe Shelter, about which I have responded in a question in this place previously. The ACT government has never funded Safe Shelter, and nor have Safe Shelter ever asked for funding, as far as I am aware, from the ACT government to support their services.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, you said you were briefed weekly on numbers of rough sleepers, and presumably other things. Can you share those numbers with the Assembly? That is certainly something that is of public interest.

MS BERRY: Yes, I can. There are 30 rough sleepers at the moment.

Waste recycling facility—government shareholder status

MS LEE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in question time on 16 August, Ms Le Couteur asked when you will be approving or rejecting Icon Water becoming a 25 per cent owner of the waste to energy plant in Fyshwick, to which you responded that “there is a formal process that needs to be gone through” and that “there are elements of community consultation as part of the process”. Chief Minister, who will initiate that formal process and what role will the government play, given its shareholder status?

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