Australian Coat of Arms

Member for Blaxland

Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness 

Lights are on but no one’s home

Today in Senate Estimates it was revealed the Morrison Government doesn’t know:

  • If homelessness is going to go up in the next twelve months, 
  • What will happen to the 7000 homeless Australians put into empty hotel rooms during the pandemic, 
  • How many people applied to have their rent cut or deferred during the moratorium on evictions, or 
  • How many Australians have accessed homelessness services throughout the pandemic.

Here are some of the non-answers from today’s Estimates:

Q: What modelling has the Department done to assess the likely increased demand for homelessness services because of job losses resulting from the current recession and cuts to income support?

A: “The Federal Government does not have as much information about the details of homelessness and social housing activities in the states for us to get a clear understanding.”

Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services

Q: Has the Government collected any data on the success or otherwise of National Cabinet’s eviction moratorium?

A: “I’m unable to assist.”

Kathryn Campbell, Secretary for the Department of Social Services.

Q: What update can the Department provide on the number of people provided with temporary hotel accommodation during the COVID crisis?

A: “We would certainly love that information.”

Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services

These are basic facts the Government should know.

Putting a roof over the head of Australians in the middle of a pandemic should be the most basic thing the Government is focussed on.

This proves they’re not.

FRIDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2020