$830m boost to help house home­less

The West Australian - - NEWS - Phoebe Wearne

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”.

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