Homelessness

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:48): My question is directed to the Minister for Human Services. Will the minister provide an update on the potential learnings from upcoming national housing and homelessness conferences?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:49): I thank the honourable member for his question. The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) provides a national forum for discussion and development of housing and urban policy, creating an opportunity for state governments and the Australian government to coordinate and share knowledge in the absence of COAG structures around housing policy.

On 29 May, which is today, AHURI is hosting a national conference in Canberra, entitled 'Ready for Growth: Affordable Housing Supply Solutions'. The conference will address a range of affordable housing questions and will be informed by new AHURI research. A number of policy researchers have mined outcomes from the UK to see how we can replicate models here in Australia, particularly in harnessing resources in the non-government sector.

One of the keynote speakers happens to be the Hon. Doug Cameron, shadow minister for housing and homelessness. He is obviously quite happy to be associated with this organisation. I note that on 6 and 7 August AHURI is hosting a conference in Melbourne, called Ending Homelessness Together, at which the Hon. Doug Cameron, shadow minister for housing and homelessness, will be delivering a keynote address. The government of Victoria is the main sponsor. I note that AHURI has not been subject to an investigation by the government of Victoria as alleged by the Labor Party.

The most recent AHURI conference to be held in Adelaide was on Wednesday 19 October 2016, entitled 'The Future of Housing Assistance'. The plenary speaker was the Hon. Zoe Bettison, who spoke on the topic of 'Investigating the future of housing assistance in Australia'. Unfortunately, the Labor Party has misled the people of South Australia on this issue and has clearly misled the media, resulting in the publication of a headline which is at best misleading: 'Firm selected to audit SA's future housing under investigation over mobster links, says Labor.' As I stated in last question time, AHURI is a respected national organisation and Labor can't be trusted to be truthful.