The Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness held its fourteenth meeting in Canberra on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May 2012. The Council was pleased to engage for the first time with the Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, on reviewing and prioritising current effort to reduce homelessness.
Renewal of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness
The Council discussed the impending cessation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) in June 2013, and confirmed its support for the continued collaboration of the Commonwealth with State and Territory governments in renewing this strategic investment. As a key mechanism for maintaining the momentum of the homelessness reform agenda, the Council proposes that a renewed NPAH will further drive effort towards the 2020 targets under the White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home.
Homelessness and young Indigenous people
A small delegation of Council members who recently visited Alice Springs reported back to Council on their experiences. The delegation noted that their discussions with a range of stakeholders, including service providers, Indigenous-controlled organisations and government officials at the local, Territory and Commonwealth levels, highlighted a number of common themes regarding homelessness among young Indigenous people in regional and remote communities. Further consideration of these issues by Council will provide a platform to develop specific advice in areas the Council believes can have a significant impact.
Monitoring the improving evidence base on homelessness
The Council continues to closely monitor and provide strategic advice to the Government on the evidence base on homelessness, including assessing change in levels of homelessness and evaluating the success of initiatives. The Council was pleased to receive briefings on the emerging findings of key bodies of research including the Michael Project by Mission Australia, the Journeys Home study being undertaken by the Melbourne Institute and the Specialist Homelessness Service Data collected by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The Council believes these projects contribute to a more comprehensive picture of homelessness.
The Council was encouraged to note the release of the exposure draft of Homelessness Legislation and confirmed its support for this ‘recognition’ style legislation, which will underpin the national effort to reduce homelessness.
National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards
The Council noted the success of the inaugural National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards, held in March 2012. The Council expressed its support for the Awards to continue to showcase the work of the sector and embed the celebration of effort and innovation by service providers.
The next meeting is scheduled for 15 and 16 August 2012 in Canberra.