On Census night in 2006, the homeless population in Australia was 105,000, according to an academic report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Counting the Homeless, 2006 (which includes data from the 2006 Census and other sources) found that absolute homelessness, such as sleeping out or in an improvised shelter, accounted for 16% of homelessness in Australia.  Most homeless people were sheltered somewhere on Census night, with 45% staying temporarily with friends or relatives, 21% staying in boarding houses, and 19% staying in supported accommodation (such as hostels for the homeless, night shelters and refuges).

The majority of homeless people were single (57,182 people or 55%), while 20% were couples without accompanying children (20,704 people, or 10,160 couples with 384 accompanying adults) and 26% were in homeless families with children (26,790 people, or 7,483 families).

In 2006, more than two-thirds (67%) of the homeless population were adults over 18 years of age, with 12% under 12 years of age, and 21% from 12 to 18 years old. Less than half (44%) of homeless people were female.  Their research found that the number of homeless youth aged 12 to 18 years decreased from 22,600 in 2001 to 17,891 in 2006, a decrease of 21%. In 2006, there were 26,790 people in families, an increase of 17% on the 2001 figure. There was also a 10% increase in the number of homeless adults outside of families. This was the largest group with about 60,000 people on Census night.

THE cost of furnishing homes for asylum seekers has reached $6.6 million, with a total of more than $82 million going to the Red Cross for community detention costs.

“At more than $9100 per household on average for white goods, furniture, TVs and other items, Labor’s asylum house program has proved to be almost 30 per cent more expensive than the $7100 originally budgeted for the average family of five,” Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said

We still have 105,000 people living homeless in Australia.  There were:

  • 12,600 children under 12 who were homeless
  • 17,891 were between 12-18 years of age
  • 26,790 people were part of 7,483 families living homeless
  • 47719 approx, were people were adults outside of families

Homelessness Australia has concerns, however, that the definition has introduced the concept of whether or not a person is living in a refuge or boarding house by choice. ?  This same Government does not have the same concern about Asylum Seekers they provide accommodation and food regardless.  Why is it this Government cannot worry more about the 105,000 homeless IN Australia including 7,483 FAMILIES

“The inclusion of an element of choice in a homelessness definition is very worrying. There is a stark difference between choice and adaptation. A person who makes a “choice” to flee violence in the family home or leave a situation of sexual abuse is in fact faced with a Hobson’s choice. This element needs to be removed from the bill or the sector will not support it” Policy and Research Officer Travis Gilbert said.

In Refugees they will accept economic refugees and certainly almost all that arrive on our shores do so  by choice and yet when it is an Australian the Government looks for excuses not to help us.  Is this yet more proof that the Gillard regime actually hates Australians!

The homelessness sector is also disappointed that the legislation does not seek to progress the realisation of a right to housing.

“We strongly believe that people should have the right to adequate housing in Australia. This exposure draft explicitly states that does not seek to do this or even progress it. This is disappointing as Australia is a signatory to the UN Declaration on Human Rights and international covenants that recognise a right to housing. While we welcome new legislation, this bill needs to be strengthened” Narelle Clay said.

While the homelessness sector welcomes new national homelessness legislation, HA is concerned that the draft falls short.  And I for 1 share HA’s concerns and in this will support them completely.

Yet this government spent

  • $6.6 million on furnishing Asylum seeker housing
  • $82 million going to the Red Cross for community detention costs
  • $39.3 million over four years for Australia’s pre-eminent national collecting institutions 
  • $1.5 million to support capital works for the creation of the Islamic Museum of Australia in the heart of Melbourne and $2 million to create the Antipodes Centre for Greek Culture, Heritage and Language in Melbourne.”
  • $64.1 million over four years to secure jobs in the arts, cultural heritage and creative industries in Canberra.
  • $578.4 million for Indonesia

2012-13
Saving lives: 15
Promoting opportunities for all: 35
Sustainable economic development: 32
Effective governance: 13
Humanitarian and disaster response: 4
Cross cutting: 1

2011-12
Saving lives: 15
Promoting opportunities for all: 28
Sustainable economic development: 35
Effective governance: 16
Humanitarian and disaster response: 5
Cross cutting: 1

  • $1.16 billion for PNG and Pacific Islands in 2011-12, and represents almost 25 per cent of total Australian ODA.
  •  $465 million – $625 million for Africa and the Middle east
  • $47.7 million Carribean and Latin America
  • $1.32 billion - $1.95 billion to East  Asia – BurmaCambodiaChinaEast TimorGreater MekongLaosMongoliaNorth KoreaRegional East AsiaPhilippinesVietnam
  • $525 - $725 million to South and West Asia – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Regional South Asia, Sri Lanka

 There are many additional instances, however these examples show the disproportionate amount of aid given overseas and to the Arts compared to our Australian vulnerable homeless that deserve the priority in any assistance given by an Australian Government. And yet I can bet most of these 105000 would be thankful for a detention centre that keeps them safe, housed, clothed and fed.