New social and affordable housing


This is the 10th year that I've been the member for Lalor, and across many of those years I've stood in this chamber and talked about the scourge of homelessness in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, an area I represent. In March it was revealed that there are over a thousand locals in Wyndham Vale who are homeless and living rough. This is according to census data. So you can imagine, Madam Deputy Speaker, how pleased I was on the weekend to attend the Victorian Labor State Conference and hear the Prime Minister announce the new $2 billion social housing accelerator to deliver thousands of new homes across Australia. In those nine years of being here under a Liberal government it was incredibly frustrating to watch while they cut funding to community organisations that supported homeless people in my electorate. It was heartbreaking to sit with people who had fallen into homelessness and hear their stories of how difficult it was to get their lives back on track. So I am incredibly proud of this policy, which is just one part of how the Albanese Labor government is creating secure homes and giving more Australians a foundation for a better future. Already, the Home Guarantee Scheme has helped over 1,200 locals from the electorate of Lalor into homeownership, and in the budget we expanded that eligibility.

Unfortunately, the Housing Australia Future Fund is being held up in the Senate by those who say they care about homelessness but have failed to pass this legislation that would help us get on with the job. The $2 billion announced on Saturday, to be provided to the states via agreement within two weeks, goes some way to taking some of the urgency out of this. But remember, Madam Deputy Speaker, we have to build or buy these homes. We need the HAFF passed this week in the Senate. It is the last sitting week before we go on winter break, and the tents are up around the Werribee River, where people are living rough through this winter. I want to be sure that next winter they're in houses. I call on those senators from the Greens and the Liberals who are blocking this legislation to pass this. I've seen the shocking impact on local families. I've spoken to mums with five kids sleeping in cars over the Christmas holidays. Those in the Senate need to get this passed. They need to do it now. Every day we waste. We go away for another winter break, and then next winter there will still be tents on the Werribee River. I call on those opposite and the Greens to do what needs to be done. Support this legislation and let us get on with the job.

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