Youth accommodation support funding voted down in Parliament

Friday August 09, 2019

Published by The Border Watch


MEMBER for Mount Gambier Troy Bell’s bid to secure State Government funding for accommodation options for young people has been shot down in Parliament, prompting a fierce rebuke from the independent MP. 

Mr Bell sought to gain parliamentary support from the State Government to fund more supported accommodation options for people aged between 15 to 18 after warning of a gap in the system. 

The motion was supported in its original form by the State Opposition, but was changed by the Liberal Party in the House of Assembly to exclude Mr Bell’s reference to funding. 

Mr Bell expressed disappointment over the government’s eleventh hour change to the motion, saying he had flagged to introduce it to parliament at the start of the year. 

“I do not accept the removal of my original paragraph and its replacement with an alternative paragraph,” he said. 

“Had the government come to me and said ‘Listen, we have a problem with your paragraph, we have a Treasurer as you know who does not like the word funding put into private members’ motions’, I would have changed it.” 

Liberal Assistant Minister Carolyn Power said young people were supported through a number of mechanisms, including Uniting Communities’ Ruby’s Reunification Program. 

However, Mr Bell said young people with no possibility of reunification with their parents were not eligible to access the program and resulted in young people sleeping rough. 

The motion passed in amended form with majority State Government support.