You know, in this febrile political environment, it’s so easy to focus on the negative.
And Luke Howarth, your federal Assistant Housing Minister and newly announced Minister for Homelessness, thinks that all you people are making a huge song and dance about Australia’s recent jump in the number of people living in unsafe and insecure accommodation and not focussing on all the people who aren’t sleeping rough, for which he seems to think he’s getting inadequate credit.
“We have 99.5% of our Australians… homed and living in safe place,” he pointed out on Radio National.
“There’s half a per cent of the population that isn’t… I want to put a positive spin on it as well and not just say Australia’s in a housing crisis when it affects a very, very small percentage of the population.”
Sure, it’s not what everyone in the homelessness sector thinks, or what Lords Mayor around the country are saying with regard the increase in people sleeping rough in our cities.
Indeed, Australia has a 14 per cent increase in homelessness between the 2011 and 2016 census, but Howarth has explained that this is apparently “in line with population growth”.
And that makes sense because… wait, what?
If that’s the case, and the population is growing 14 per cent faster than they can be accommodated in the space of five years, isn’t that the literal definition of a housing crisis?
You know, the sort of thing that would unambiguously be the responsibility of the Minister For Homelessness?
Anyway, all those mayors and academics and homelessness workers are just being negative nellies.
Not like Luke Howarth, Positive Spin Doctor.