Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Minister Lacks Credibility over Homelessness Crisis

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Minister Lacks Credibility over Homelessness Crisis

Article excerpt

THE Morrison Government's new Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community, Luke Howarth, seems to think "homelessness" affects such a small fraction of the population,

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In many dark corners of our major cities and in regional Australia, the homeless, some whole families, are couch-surfing, living in cars and under bridges, or on the streets. This is an abomination in a nation where 1 per cent of the elite population owns 90 per cent of the personal wealth.

It is unconscionable for any government entity to minimise the impact of the housing crisis in a nation, where, as former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke said about Australia's economy at the time: " No child will live in poverty in 1990." Yet many more than ever do so, in 2019, almost 20 years later.

It has repercussions for whole families, not just one homeless person.

This does not give this politician credibility, when, as the Federal Minister, he needs to acknowledge it is not only a large problem, but exacerbated by the high cost of living, especially in larger cities.

Families depending on welfare in particular, are struggling under the cost of electricity and rentals or paying off mortgages, let alone food and other necessities. Add to this addictions and we have a crisis.

Shame on Mr Howarth, who obviously doesn't live in the real world, or doesn't care to. Politicians are in the main, disconnected from the broader population.

If he did his homework, read between the lines, visited those in poverty and welfare organisations, he would have a clearer perspective on just how much in housing crisis many Australian citizens are. It is his role and responsibility, after all.

E. ROWE

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