A full investigation into the causes of and measures needed to combat the hidden problem of homelessness will be undertaken in Victoria. Eastern Metropolitan Melbourne member Rod Barton presented a motion today calling for independent analysis of the changing scale and nature of homelessness across Victoria.
“We need to get a proper handle on this. What has struck me since become a member of parliament is how many of our people are facing a crisis in housing and are in need of homelessness services, and how hidden this problem is,” he said.
My motion asks the Legal and Social Issues Committee to provide an independent analysis of the changing scale and nature of homelessness across Victoria. We need to get a proper handle on this. I want the committee to investigate why, and what are the many social, economic and policy factors that impact on homelessness, and I want the committee to identify policies and practices from all levels of government that have a bearing on delivering services to the homeless.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (15:49): My constituency question is to the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Minister Williams, in the other place. I wrote to Minister Williams earlier this month to share my concerns for the future of a fantastic program in the Eastern Metropolitan Region called Speaking Out, and I asked if she could commit to ongoing support for this program. Speaking Out trains and supports women who have experienced family violence or sexual assault. These women are able to share their stories with the public through media interviews, community engagements and involvement through other committees. The program has a current group of 30 women actively taking their messages out into the community. These incredibly brave women are frontline fighters for awareness and as a group take on two or three engagements each week. I ask the minister: what is her office doing to support this valuable program in eastern metropolitan Melbourne to ensure it can continue to raise awareness through first-hand accounts of the effects of family violence and sexual assault?