Lights are on but no one’s home

Today in Senate Estimates it was revealed the Morrison Government doesn’t know:

  • If homelessness is going to go up in the next twelve months, 
  • What will happen to the 7000 homeless Australians put into empty hotel rooms during the pandemic, 
  • How many people applied to have their rent cut or deferred during the moratorium on evictions, or 
  • How many Australians have accessed homelessness services throughout the pandemic.

Here are some of the non-answers from today’s Estimates:

Q: What modelling has the Department done to assess the likely increased demand for homelessness services because of job losses resulting from the current recession and cuts to income support?

A: “The Federal Government does not have as much information about the details of homelessness and social housing activities in the states for us to get a clear understanding.”

Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services

Q: Has the Government collected any data on the success or otherwise of National Cabinet’s eviction moratorium?

A: “I’m unable to assist.”

Kathryn Campbell, Secretary for the Department of Social Services.

Q: What update can the Department provide on the number of people provided with temporary hotel accommodation during the COVID crisis?

A: “We would certainly love that information.”

Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services

These are basic facts the Government should know.

Putting a roof over the head of Australians in the middle of a pandemic should be the most basic thing the Government is focussed on.

This proves they’re not.