Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has commissioned a review of homelessness in the Electoral District of Shepparton, covering Shepparton, Mooroopna and surrounding townships.
The six-month review will examine a range of aspects of the issue covering statistics, data, suggested causes and will liaise with not-for-profit groups and local, state and federal government agencies.
“According to research conducted by the Council to Homeless Persons – based on ABS census data – Shepparton has one of the worst homelessness problems in the state of Victoria,” Ms Sheed said.
“To advocate effective policy in this area I am determined to get a much better understanding of the causes and potential solutions to homelessness.”
The review is designed to broaden and underpin Ms Sheed’s advocacy to the Victorian State Government during her second term.
“We’ve had a lot of successes to date – the hospital redevelopment, rail upgrades and education reform to name but a few. Over a half-a-billion dollars is flowing into the Shepparton District from the state government,” Ms Sheed said.
“But we should be judged not only on the big picture, but how we treat our least fortunate. There are few less fortunate than those without a roof over their head or those forced into overcrowded or temporary accommodation.”
The issue of homelessness is a complex one, according to Ms Sheed, but there are many in the Shepparton District working hard on the problem.
“The Hume Region Homelessness Network encompasses some of the critical organisations within our region that are working on this problem and I will be very keen to hear their thoughts. The Mayor of Greater Shepparton, Kim O’Keefe is particularly active in this space drawing on her own experiences to seek solutions”.
Former journalist and now policy advisor, Myles Peterson, will be heading up the review who has also worked in state and federal parliament including as a cabinet officer to the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
“Suzanna has demonstrated how effectively she can work with government to achieve effective outcomes for her electorate and I look forward to looking very closely at the issue locally to assist in a policy to take to government,” Mr Peterson said.
“We aim to arm her with informed policy to target that advocacy on the pressing issue of homelessness in the Shepparton District.”
Jacqui Hawkins 0403 657 267│firstname.lastname@example.org