News, media releases

Labor will build the facilities and provide the services for homelessness that the Liberals have refused to

  • Heartless Gutwein Government have told vulnerable Tasmanians they are on their own
  • New $52.2 million commitment will build emergency accommodation for Tasmanians falling through the cracks under Gutwein
  • Additional case workers will support people at risk to get secure housing

Tasmania’s deepening homelessness crisis is a direct result of the Liberal Government’s heartless and deliberate decision to place the state’s most vulnerable in a too-hard basket.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said after seven years of neglect, the Gutwein Government had no priority to address Tasmania’s growing homelessness crisis and only a Majority Labor Government would provide solutions with a $52.2 million package to build additional emergency accommodation and employ additional case workers to assist the state’s most vulnerable.

Ms White said Labor would commit $12.6 million over four years for case workers across a range of areas to help secure housing for homeless Tasmanians and those at risk of homelessness and $39.6 million over four years to build and fund additional supported and emergency accommodation.

“Every night in Tasmania more than 1,600 people are homeless and that’s a sad and shocking situation,” Ms White said.

“What’s also shocking is that Peter Gutwein and members of his government have been prepared to walk past the homeless, those Tasmanians at risk of homelessness and some of our most vulnerable and turn the other way.

“There has been no priority by this Liberal Government to address this critical issue and provide shelter to Tasmanians who are sleeping in their cars or tents or relying on the kindness of friends or family for a roof over their heads.

“Too many people are falling between the cracks of a broken service system rather than getting the support they need to get into secure housing and maintain their tenancy.

“We will employ additional case workers to assist people within and leaving crisis or temporary accommodation, people at risk of homelessness when they are discharged from the health system, people exiting the justice system and Aboriginal people at risk of homelessness.

“It’s time to be realistic about the spiralling homelessness situation in our state and provide Tasmanians with the services they need to find shelter.”

Ms White said a Majority Labor Government will invest $39.6 million to build and fund supported and emergency accommodation services including:

  • $6 million for disability accommodation
  • $6 million for children and young people exiting from out of home care in the north and north west
  • $9 million to reduce the risk of young people becoming homeless
  • $7.6 million to build and operated a men’s shelter in the north west
  • $6 million to expand Rapid re-housing and
  • $5 million for transition independent living units for drug and alcohol and mental ill health patients

“This package will support 647 vulnerable Tasmanians experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“Crisis and supported accommodation facilities will be built state-wide in consultation with specialist homelessness services in areas with the greatest demand.”

Shadow Housing Minister Alison Standen said the number of Tasmanians experiencing homelessness had steadily increased over the past seven years of the Liberal Government and data from Shelter Tasmania shows the vast majority were aged under 44.

“Younger Tasmanians aged between 12 and 24 make up a quarter of all people experiencing homelessness followed by Tasmanians aged between 25 and 34,” Ms Standen said.

“The majority of those 1,600 Tasmanians experiencing homelessness every night are couch surfing or staying in severely overcrowded houses, boarding houses or simply sleeping rough in tents and parks.

“This is information that has been readily available to Peter Gutwein and his government but over seven years but there has been absolutely no priority given to finding a solution and, in fact, there has been an appalling attitude to simply turn the other way.

“The situation has to change and only Labor has a plan to address this crucial issue.”

Rebecca White MP  
Labor Leader

Alison Standen MP  
Shadow Minister for Housing