Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has stated that today’s budget has done nothing to alleviate the uncertainty created by last week’s announcements by Minister Upton around funding for specialist homelessness services for women in particular immigrant women.
Dr Faruqi said: “Providers specialising in women’s homelessness support services are still missing out with the majority of tenders being awarded to the bigger generalist charities who will see an increase in their funding at the expense of these smaller specialist providers.
“Unfortunately, the concerns that were held for the survival of women-only specialist homelessness service providers in Inner Sydney have also hit Western Sydney with Harris Park’s Immigrant Women’s Speakout missing out on funding in last Friday’s announcement.
“Immigrant women’s services in Western Sydney have been hit hard, with another service provider facing funding uncertainty after 30 years of providing women-only specialist homelessness services to over 72 ethnic groups.
“The tendering process has turned into a farce with some providers asked to retender for funding packages in their area without any explanation or information regarding the retender process.
“The Government’s inexperience in working with this sector has really come to the fore. The Government should learn a lesson from this bungled process and consult more comprehensively with experts in the field and service providers on the ground before taking the knife to these much needed services.
“Sadly, the impending closure of women’s refuges will still leave the most vulnerable in our community homeless, especially immigrant women who are escaping domestic violence”, she concluded.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Sydney)