States Delaying Homelessness Funding - Morrison
7 July 2015 at 12:11 pm
Federal Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, has accused four State Governments of delaying the delivery of more than $135 million in homelessness funding.
Morrison announced this week that Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales had signed up to his 2015-2017 National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).
Morrison said by signing, the States had agreed to match their share of $230 in NPAH funding offered by the Abbott Government in March.
But Morrison said Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia were delaying the process by not signing up to the agreement.
“I encourage the Labor States and the ACT to join their Coalition colleagues, sign the agreement and ensure this new homelessness assistance for their communities is not delayed,” Morrison said.
“After having run a vocal media campaign against the Abbott Government calling for a renewal of the homelessness funding that was cut by Labor, I am surprised that the Victorian Labor Government has so far failed to sign up, particularly as the decision to renew the funding was made in March.
“The value of the funding for Victoria is $45.58 million over two years.
“The only new conditions we have placed on the funding is that it must give priority to homelessness programs focused on family domestic violence and youth homelessness and that there be transparency about where the funds are spent.”
Morrison said Tasmania had indicated its willingness to sign the agreement.
He said the agreement would provide two years of federal funding for frontline homeless services across Australia, contingent upon matching funding from each state and territory government and “agreed project plans for the delivery of services”.
“Longer-term funding arrangements and the respective roles of the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments in housing assistance and homelessness services will be considered in the context of the Government’s White Paper on reform of the Federation,” he said.
But Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and Queensland Senator, Jan McLucas, defended the States singled out by Morrison and accused him of playing politics and misleading the public on the funding agreement.
“In trying to score political points about homelessness funding – particularly as it relates to domestic and family violence – he (Scott Morrison) has intentionally misled the Australian community,” Senator McLucas said.
“The fact is that Scott Morrison knew the Victorian Government had signed the agreement on 30 June – in the week they received the agreement from the Commonwealth.
“Queensland only received their agreement 11 days ago, despite Scott Morrison wrongly suggesting they were sent theirs three months ago.
“The ACT Government made it clear in their Budget that they were committed to the NPAH, yet Scott Morrison ignored that fact too.
“Scott Morrison might think he is fooling Australians, but we all know all he has done is blatantly lie for his own political purposes.”