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Housing & Homelessness: Advance or Retreat?


Thursday, 10th March 2011 at 3:11 pm
Staff Reporter
With much of the political and media focus on the serious of natural disasters in Australia and neighbouring New Zealand in recent times, the worsening crisis in Australia’s housing affordability market appears to have been forgotten according to welfare peak body ACOSS.

Thursday, 10th March 2011
at 3:11 pm
Staff Reporter


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Housing & Homelessness: Advance or Retreat?
Thursday, 10th March 2011 at 3:11 pm

With much of the political and media focus on the serious of natural disasters in Australia and neighbouring New Zealand in recent times, the worsening crisis in Australia’s housing affordability market appears to have been forgotten according to welfare peak body ACOSS.

ACOSS says despite some positive Federal action in recent years, housing affordability threatens to plunge thousands of struggling Australians into homelessness and poverty.

This critical topic will be the focus of two major sessions at the 2011 ACOSS National Conference to be held on 29-30 March in Melbourne.

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Senator Mark Arbib  

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Senator Mark Arbib will join a panel of community and housing sector experts to dissect the problem and policy prescriptions in one of the discussions to be chaired by the head of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski.

This panel will also include Sarah Toohey, Policy Officer, Victorian Council of Social Service; Catherine Gander, Executive Director, NSW Women’s Refuge Movement; and Dr Owen Donald, Chairperson, National Housing Supply Council.

The second session will look specifically at aged care and homelessness.

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler will join this panel discussion canvassing the barriers to adequate services in aged care and what needs to be done to address this, particularly regarding adequate housing. This will be chaired by Nicole Lawder, CEO, Homelessness Australia and includes Kasy Chambers, Executive Director, Anglicare Australia; Ludo McFerran, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse; and John Blewonski, CEO, VincentCare Victoria.

Associated with the Conference will be a Forum addressing Mental Health and the Community Sector. This Forum will include a discussion of models of collaboration between the housing and mental health sectors, and with involve focus on discussing policy priorities and strategies to achieve better coordination between mental health services, homelessness and housing sectors, and other social service sectors.

If you are interested in these issues and want to be part of the discussions, check out the ACOSS website and book your place..

Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
When: 29 – 30 March, 2011

Another highlight of the 2011 ACOSS National Conference will be a panel discussion addressing the policy challenges of productivity, population and participation to be hosted by the ABC's Peter Mares and aired on Radio National's The National Interest program. Panelists for this session include Federal Minister Jenny Macklin; Opposition Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb; the ACTU’s Ged Kearney; Maria Tarrant from the Business Council of Australia; and economist Saul Eslake.

The conference will culminate with a lively panel discussion featuring well-known journalists, social commentators and community sector representatives to be chaired by ABC Melbourne Local Radio personality Jon Faine and broadcast on Radio National's Big Ideas show.

In addition to this packed two-day program, ACOSS will also stage various pre and post conference workshops and forums in specialised areas such as mental health; energy and cost of living; media and communications; and income management. For full details, including sessions, speakers, and program visit the ACOSS website: www.acoss.org.au 



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