FEDERAL Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth and Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey visited Kadina on Tuesday, September 29.

The pair met with Copper Coast Council mayor Roslyn Talbot, YP Community Transport general manager David McDonald and Copper Coast Salvation Army Captain Karen Armstrong to talk about community housing, mental health and homelessness on Yorke Peninsula.

The visit came a day after the Morrison Government announced a $60 million investment into safe places to keep women and children safe from family and domestic violence, with $5m going to the Salvos. Mr Howarth said there were 40 successful projects announced as part of the $60m investment.

“Salvation Army will also contribute $5m and build more community housing,” he said. “We know homelessness is more hidden in regions and a lot of people either couch surf or live with other people causing severe overcrowding. We’d love to see this government money come into regions — being here (in regions) is a great way to talk to community groups and service providers to better work together.”

Mrs Talbot said the visit was an opportunity to highlight for affordable housing in the area. “While it (homelessness) isn’t a core function of council, he (Mr Howarth) has given us some suggestions of ways to advocate for solutions for our area,” she said. “We are a growth area and we are trying to encourage more people here but affordable housing is a real issue. I also highlighted the need for accessible information for people, to have more Copper Coast-specific connections.”

Mrs Armstrong said she wanted the assistant minister to know the region had a lack of community housing. “We even struggle with relief accommodation here because a lot of motels or caravan parks just refuse to have ‘those people’,” she said. “Everyone needs to understand a lot of homelessness in the area is situational and if we give people the required help when they need it, they can get out of it. I appreciate the visit and the time to talk about what is important to us at the Salvos — the visit spoke volumes.”

YP Community Transport general manager David McDonald raised issues such as block funding, operating costs, and a greater collaboration between local charities such as the Salvation Army when meeting with federal politicians last week. Mr McDonald spoke with Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth and Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey on Tuesday, September 29. “I found the chat extremely beneficial and both Mr Howarth and Mr Ramsey were very receptive and showed a keen interest in our challenges,” he said. “It was a most refreshing approach to have such active listening and willingness to hear our concerns. “I would like to see continued growth, sustainability, combined with a further expansion and variety of our current services to our community. If we are able to do this it would require continued and possibly increased government funding over a greater term. Clearly this would be a huge benefit to our community and may well even help to create (whilst only small) a few more precious job opportunities for our area.”

Yorke Peninsula Country Times – Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Journalist – Jess Liddy

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