Plight of Homeless Diggers Highlights Federal Cuts

06 January 2015

The Andrews Labor Government is deeply concerned about the homelessness rates of veterans in Victoria and we welcome the discussion about their welfare.

A recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed Victoria was the state with the nation’s highest rates of people seeking help from homelessness services.

The Labor Government is helping veterans and other homeless people through our support of organisations such as HomeGround, which runs the Street to Home program. However, Victoria cannot solve the problem alone.

The Labor Government calls on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to sign up to the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness – which is due to expire – so this vital support can continue.

At the moment, Victoria has committed to its share of the National Partnership’s funding for three years. The Federal Government won’t even commit to one.

The Victorian Government is committed to supporting those who have served our country. One of the ways we are doing so is by partnering with Housing Choices Australia and the RSL Victorian Branch to build five units in Richmond for veterans in crisis.

The Victorian Government also distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars per year from the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund to support veterans' welfare.

Funds raised on ANZAC Day 2014 – more than $400,000 – went to organisations like the RSL, Legacy, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and the Carry On Club to support veterans, their dependants and war widows.

In addition, the Victorian Government made an election commitment of a further $400,000 to support veterans' welfare.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Martin Foley

Reports of veterans living rough are a national disgrace.”

“Tony Abbott doesn't even want to acknowledge the problem. The Federal Government cut funding to homeless support groups.”

“We will be writing to the Federal Government to demand urgent action to address homelessness among veterans in Victoria.”

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Reviewed 19 August 2020

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