We sent an email to every* registered candidate for the Australian Federal Election in the seat of Casey.

In the email we asked 5 simple questions seeking to find out their understand of homelessness in the Yarra Ranges. Here are the answers we received.

*Peter Sullivan’s from Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party’s email address keeps bouncing.
Question 1. What is your personal knowledge or understanding of homelessness or the lack of affordable housing in the Yarra Ranges?

Chris Field, Australian Federation Party

I am not up to speed on the current situation. I was aware before Covid that there were families living in cars and one lady with her children living in a horse float. I was told earlier this year that the State Govt has stepped in and “there is no more homelessness” – but I find that hard to believe.

It’s a pressing matter that will demand my immediate attention as the Member for Casey.

Paul Murphy, One Nation Party

The homeless and affordable housing is a priority in the Yarra Rangers I know first-hand the seriousness with these issues we have. I have spoken to people that have been seriously affected.

Question 2. Are you aware that there is no crisis accommodation in Yarra Ranges for families, young people or older people?

Chris Field, Australian Federation Party

As above – I am not fully informed. Sadly personal crisis situations now rise more frequently than ever, and any shortage of provision must be addressed immediately.

Existing infrastructure, in the hands of church and welfare groups may need to be temporarily re-purposed to meet the immediate shortfall, while more long-term solutions are developed.

Note that my passion is for the community to come alive and be energised to support its more vulnerable members. Australian Federation Party stands on the founding document of our Federation (the Constitution), where diverse Colonies united for a common outcome, in a Federation (that’s a team word) and a Commonwealth (that’s “For the Good of All!”). To remain true to the vision of those who birthed our nation we must stop competing and work on key words like ‘unite’, ‘federation’, ‘commonwealth’ and community.

Sadly Party Politics which inserted itself into Australia about 80 years ago (parties are not mentioned in the Constitution) has created the illusion of a 2-Party System, which is not in our Constitution, and which fosters division and competition instead of unity and ‘for the good of all’ thinking.

With a Community focus we will work together for each other, rather than expect Canberra to be our Fairy Godmother. We have to stand up together to face our challenges and all pull our weight in caring for each other.

Paul Murphy, One Nation Party

I know off people who have had to sleep in there cars or have had to sleep in caravan parks due to the lack of crises accommodation. I have spoken to young people that have approached Anchor and they have been turned away.

Question 3. What is your and or your party’s policy in regard to dealing with homelessness? Affordable housing?

Chris Field, Australian Federation Party

(The) Australian Federation Party does not impose Policy on its members, so each Representative can fully represent those who vote for them. So the practical outworking is that when I am elected I will relate widely with all the stakeholders, get an accurate picture of what the challenges are on the ground, and then get from Canberra whatever resources are available – and ensure that all that is promised is actually deliverable – ON THE GROUND – in Casey.

Most political candidates bandy around the word Billions (when it used to be millions). But ask yourself how many Billions have been spent on Climate Change, Aboriginal issues, Asylum Seekers, Education and the like, without any positive result on the ground. The money evaporates into greedy hands, for research, overseas study trips, glowing schemes that are never fulfilled, nepotism, and the like.

I will not be fooled by the “Billions of Dollars” promises, but I will get from Canberra what is actually needed on the ground, and bring it to Casey to land ON THE GROUND.

Homelessness is a shame on our nation and to talk up Bg Bucks, while people are still without a place of their own, deserves our cynicism.

Paul Murphy, One Nation Party

To stop or slow the immigration so we have more housing for ourself’s and to stop foreign ownership for more affordable housing.

Question 4. If elected, how would you deal with these issues?

Chris Field, Australian Federation Party

As explained, my task is to work with the community, drawing upon its assets and resources, especially the motivated and capable people who have a heart for the problems and for helping others. As the specifics of what is needed are defined my aim is to bring resources to put into the hands of the community, not outside consultants or nation-wide schemes that suck up the money.

I want to see our own resources nourished and developed for long-term Casey-driven solutions, enhanced by whatever we can get out of Canberra.

Paul Murphy, One Nation Party

To make sure our own people get housing first before immigration, and to remove stamp duty on fist home owners.

Question 5. What else could be done to help end homelessness and provide access to affordable housing and/or crisis housing?

Chris Field, Australian Federation Party

Consultants I have spoken to tell me there are various resources already available, but hidden from the public. Partly because these solutions are for the favoured pets, not the wider community. I want to dig those provisions out and give Casey residents access to whatever is available. I have also been shown that we do not necessarily have to rely on new housing stock, but can help people live in appropriate accommodation that might free up existing dwellings.

Investors are needed to build new housing, but there must be an easy path to make those properties accessible to home buyers, freeing up rental places, so more accommodation is available overall.

Large church and charity organisations have abundant resources, but won’t commit them unless carefully thought through options are developed. So we need to find Casey innovators who can help create those solutions. We also need to ensure that councils do not frustrate needed development, as sadly seems to be a growing problem.

Paul Murphy, One Nation Party

We could bring in a government assistance program like a rent try buy, you can rent the house and the rent comes of the price of the house when it comes time to buying it. The government has commission housing they can still make money and will give the occupant a chance to buy.