State Labor govts urged to sign Homlessness funds agreement
QUEENSLAND may miss out on $57 million for homelessness services, while New South Wales is set to get $60 million under a new national agreement.
Federal Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday Coalition state governments had signed the latest two-year National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
He called on Labor governments around the country to sign up to the agreement, claiming he provided it three months ago.
But Queensland Housing Minister Leanne Enoch hit out at Mr Morrison, saying the Abbott government gave the state the draft agreement only 11 days ago.
She said the Commonwealth took three months to provide the document and it was "now going through our normal budget processes".
Ms Enoch said that she was disappointed Mr Morrison was "using homelessness to play politics and get his facts wrong in the process".
NSW has already signed up, securing $60 million out of the $230 million national deal.
The funding for the additional two years was not included in the last federal Labor government's budget and the Abbott government had not reinstated it in its first budget.
Under the terms of the agreement, any federal funding must be matched dollar for dollar by state governments.
The agreement will provide homelessness services for two years in those jurisdictions that agree with the Commonwealth's terms.
"The only new conditions we have placed on the funding is that it must give priority to homelessness programs focused on family domestic violence and youth homelessness and that there be transparency about where the funds are spent," Mr Morrison said.
"The Abbott government understands the importance of these services and is proud to be restoring the $230 million funding the former Federal Labor government cut."
However, the funding only extends to 2016-17, after which the funds will be subject to the federal government's Federation White Paper.