Friday, March 11, 2005

Ministers bicker over homeless funding?

Federal, state and territory ministers will meet in Melbourne today for what is expected to be a tense meeting to thrash out funding for additional emergency housing for the homeless.

Both levels of government are accusing the other of not doing enough to address the problem.

Welfare groups dealing with the problem of homelessness report that every day across Australia, 700 people have to be turned away from assistance services like emergency accommodation.

It is estimated that 200 of those homeless people are children. For them, the alternative is a night sleeping rough in parks and laneways, under bridges or in doorways.

Homeless Perth man Clinton Burton, 33, said: "I think that a majority of places, they don't have a lot of money to help out the homeless people."

Today, state and federal community service and housing ministers will gather in Melbourne in a bid to reach agreement on a new Supported Accommodation Assistance Program.

While the existing agreement is due to expire at the end of June, the Commonwealth still appears to be a long way short of its contribution.

$8 Million dollar hole

The Federal Opposition argues the Government has cut the Commonwealth's contribution by about $8 million a year

Agencies working with the homeless fear that current services will be cut if the states do not match the Commonwealth dollar for dollar.

The Australian Federation of Homeless Organisations wants a 40 per cent increase in the overall funding from federal and state governments.

But it says even if the states do come up with extra funds, it does not appear that the Commonwealth is willing to provide any real increase.

By Nick Grimm and Just Us 11 March 05


Corporate Welfare

Corporate welfare or how to steal social services?
Ever wondered why there are so many homeless, why we need a 10 pc GST, lack of services for mental disability, still paying off the Olympics, poor public transport planning etc etc etc?

Military Spending

Howard: We as a nation have got to invest heavily in defence?
Fascist Prime Minister John HoWARd has indicated the Government will make major changes to work place laws, cut disability support forcing the disabled to work and increase his defence commitment.

Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.

Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.

Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.