Senators' Statements - National Homelessness Prevention Week

05 August 2021


This week is National Homelessness Week, the theme being 'everybody needs a home'. I think most of us would agree that, during this pandemic, our homes have never felt more important to us. Our homes should be the places that make us feel the safest, that make us feel secure. They should be the centre of family life, memories and happy times. They should give us a sense of security, permanency and a place in our community.

For too many Australians, home is not a safe place, not a stable place. Too many Australians are living in unstable accommodation, insecure accommodation or transiently, and far too many Australians are sleeping rough. For all these Australians who don't experience what they should from the home, who indeed experience homelessness or rough sleeping, it is past time for our parliament to commit to change, to commit to do better. Homelessness, like so many policy failures that we see in this place, is preventable, it is solvable—with the right commitment, the right investment and the right commitment to solving that challenge. It is incumbent on all of us to remember that in the work we do in this place—not just in National Homelessness Week but every week.

I'm deeply proud to be part of a political party that is committed to meaningful change. Anthony Albanese has committed to building 20,000 additional social housing properties through a Housing Australia Future Fund, and 4,000 of those properties would be reserved for women and children fleeing family violence and for older women, who are at greater risk of homelessness. We know this is one of the greatest cohorts of people in our community at risk of homelessness. These are the sort of policies we need to tackle homelessness. But they are just the beginning. Together, I hope we can do more.