$830m boost to help house homeless
Federal funding for WA’s homeless has been topped up in a pre-Christmas deal that will deliver $830 million to the State over five years.
The agreement between the State and Federal governments guarantees money for not-for-profit organisations that help some of the most vulnerable West Australians.
WA will also get a one-off payment of $122 million for remote housing, ending an at times fiery year-long stand-off between Housing Minister Peter Tinley and Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion over who should be responsible for funding it going forward.
WA and Canberra had been at loggerheads for months over a new funding model to replace the National Partnership on Remote Housing, which expired on June 30.
While the State Government has failed to secure the $100 million-a-year commitment that it asked for, the $122 million payment far exceeds the Commonwealth’s previous offer of $60 million over three years to exit any ongoing commitment to funding housing in remote communities.
Despite the deal, Mr Tinley said he remained disappointed that the Federal Government still intended to walk away from the space.
“An ongoing shortfall from the Commonwealth, estimated at approximately $100 million annually, will obviously create difficulties for the State Government,” he said.
“So I look forward to revisiting this issue and reopening joint funding discussions with any future Federal Government.”
WA Nationals aboriginal affairs spokesman Terry Redman criticised Mr Tinley for the “stunning capitulation to Canberra”.