Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 2017) . . Page.. 4103 ..
MS BERRY: My office and Housing ACT have engaged with Safe Shelter, which I assume is the organisation that Mr Parton is referring to. We have engaged with Safe Shelter to ensure that they make sure that the people whom they are supporting are engaged with the professionals to make sure that they get the support they need; so putting them in touch with OneLink to make sure that they are assessed and to make sure that whatever their housing needs are, they can be met.
Support services, St Vincent de Paul and the Early Morning Centre—all of these organisations—have the professional supports there to be able to support the individuals that Safe Shelter say they are helping out.
I am still not clear on the actual numbers but the advice I have is that the number of rough sleepers in the ACT has not risen and that we have the lowest rough sleeper population in the country.
MS LAWDER: Minister, why are you promoting policies that push couch surfers and other rough sleepers onto the already overloaded emergency shelter providers in the Civic area?
MS BERRY: Because very clearly our housing stock is some of the oldest in the country and it needed to be replaced to make sure it met the needs of public housing tenants. There was no point in putting public housing tenants into older, unsustainable, unsuitable public housing. Over 11 per cent of our stock is being replaced through this program, the biggest replacement program the ACT government has ever seen. It will mean that public housing tenants will be in much better, much more suitable public housing.
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, please resume your seat for a minute. A point of order.
Mr Parton: A point of order on relevance: the question was specifically about pushing couch surfers and other transient dwellers onto the already overloaded emergency shelter providers in the Civic area.
MADAM SPEAKER: I do not believe there is a point of order; I think the minister has referred to services that provide support to couch surfers. Did you have more to add, minister? You have a minute left.
MS BERRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have already talked about the significant support service arrangements in place to ensure that if people are identified as needing support, either through housing or other support services, that those needs are met by the professionals in the sector who have the skills and the knowledge to be able to support people who may be in need of housing or other supports.
MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. At the education council meeting on 15 September it was reported that