Labor’s public housing truth uncovered by Games shambles

The Andrews Government’s shambolic cancellation of the Commonwealth Games has further highlighted Victoria’s public housing crisis and Labor’s inability to respond to it.

In response to questioning in parliament by The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath in March on repurposing village accommodation, The Minister for Commonwealth Games Legacy, Harriet Shing said, “post games, we will be repurposing the athletes accommodation” and it will “deliver long term accommodation for people with a variety of needs.”

“The Premier and Minister Shing this week stood in front of the media and reneged on the Commonwealth Games contract – how can anyone believe anything Labor says over social housing?

“This is a Premier who is not be believed – he’s been caught out in web of lies over the Commonwealth Games and people are justifiably sceptical that the 1300 social and affordable houses will come to fruition.

“Given the housing and homelessness crisis in eastern Victoria – it’s disgraceful that the Andrews Government cares more about headlines than human beings.

“Homelessness has grown by 24 per cent in Victoria[1] under Labor, and too many Victorians are floundering for years on the government’s housing waitlist, desperate for a place to call home.

“Individuals and families are stuck in a cycle of unsuitable transitional housing options including homelessness, sleeping rough, couch surfing, boarding houses, or crisis accommodation – Labor’s use of the word ‘legacy’ is disingenuous.”

The number of homeless people in Eastern Victoria region is increasing, with eight state electorates feature in the state’s top 50 – Pakenham, Morwell, Narracan, Gippsland South, Nepean, Hastings, Evelyn, and Mornington.  With Gippsland East featuring in the top 20 for homelessness in regional Victoria.

Ms Bath said the rise in property prices, cost of living and interest rates and have pushed many to breaking point.

“People need to see bricks and mortar, not false promises from a tired and incompetent Premier.

“Given the growth of homelessness in eastern Victoria, the region must receive it’s fair share of $1 billion Regional Housing Fund in the wake of the Games decision.

“The Andrews Government deliberately distorts the facts about public housing by refusing to disclose the number of public homes it’s sold off or demolished – a stocktake on the state’s public housing hasn’t been released for over two years.

“Labor has categorically failed to make head roads into the public housing waitlist – the Premier’s spin is failing to build a safe and secure roof over people’s heads.”

[1]  Council to Homeless People Analysis Report, Victoria’s Top 20 Areas with surging homelessness p.17