Government Must Put People Before Politics And Accept TAAS Funding Offer
Press Release OFFICE OF THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
TUESDAY 28 MAY 2013
The Newman government has put politics before people, refusing to accept a Commonwealth offer to save the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service with the Cairns TAAS already closed and Rockhampton TAAS to close by the end of the week.
Shadow Housing Minister Jo-Ann Miller said although the LNP government had an offer of $2.5 million in Federal funds on the table, it was determined to doom the TAAS service by playing petty political games instead of helping the thousands of Queenslanders who rely on the critical service to keep a roof over their heads.
Mrs Miller said Housing Minister Tim Mander was showing his true cruel and callous colours by refusing to accept the offer and keep TAAS offices in regional centres throughout the state open.
“With a stroke of his pen Mr Mander can save thousands of families the anguish they will experience once this service is gone,” Mrs Miller said.
“Instead, he chooses to play silly political games, refusing to even respond to this offer of $2.5 million which will keep TAAS offices open for the next six months.
“That’s typical of a government that would axe this frontline service in the first place.
“This is about keeping a roof over family’s heads. This is about preventing homelessness. It’s about preventing families from having to live in shelters, to live in their cars.
“But while five states and territories have now signed on to the Federal Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness for 2013/14 – guaranteeing federal funds will flow to their states – Mr Mander instead prefers to jeopardise the future of homelessness services in Queensland.
“This government doesn’t care about families who have to scrape together the rent every week.
“This government does not care about homeless people.”
Mrs Miller said the Federal Labor Housing and Homelessness Minister had put $159 million on the table in March on the condition that states matched funding but Queensland has failed to do so.
“Mr Mander has indicated that he wants a bricks and mortar solution to homelessness in Queensland, but has failed to contribute to the Commonwealth’s capital and development fund, which will allow the State Government to obtain grants for such bricks and mortar activities.
“The money is there to be taken but what we are confronted with from this government is a new era of heartlessness.
“This is a Minister who says he is interested in housing the homeless but nothing could be further from the truth.
“It makes no financial sense to cut these services because if you don’t support people and help get them out of homelessness it only results in more costs with increased levels of crime and demand on health and other services in the future.
“TAAS provides crucial help for those families finding it difficult to locate and remain in accommodation, both in the private and public housing market. It provides crucial help for people who are in danger of ending up on the streets.
“Why any government would drag its feet on signing up beggars belief.
“But on the eve of what is destined to be a horror budget from this LNP government it shows that those less privileged Queenslanders are once again at the very bottom of its list of priorities.”