Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (14:01): Pursuant to standing order 23.29 I lay on the table an interim report from the Legal and Social Issues Committee on the inquiry into homelessness in Victoria, and I include its appendices. I move:
That the report be published.
Motion agreed to.
Ms PATTEN: I move:
That the Council take note of the report.
It is good timing to be introducing this interim report in the week of homelessness. This interim report I think really is important because it shows the significance of homelessness and the importance that people find in this issue at the moment. The purpose of this interim report was just to provide the Parliament and the public with a brief snapshot of what we have found so far. I think for one of the first times in the Parliament we have used an online survey to really try to ascertain the views of the public and where those views are coming from. So I am delighted to be able to say that we will also have an interactive dashboard on the parliamentary website that will enable members in this place to see what their constituents think, what their constituents find most important about homelessness. Certainly I think we all hear from them loudly that the most important issue in regard to homelessness is housing—both housing affordability and social housing.
What was interesting in this process of using this online survey was that we were also able to see where we were missing people. We were able to use Facebook and other social media platforms to engage with some of the regional communities that had not engaged with us. During this time of COVID, during this pandemic time, this was absolutely crucial. Now, even despite COVID, despite the bushfires, we have managed to hold 14 hearings, most of them online. But we were able to travel into regional areas. We were able to hold open mic afternoons in those regional areas. We were able to hear from people with lived experience around homelessness. I think so far it has been quite an extraordinary inquiry. We have really found that the community is so engaged with this issue. We will be providing the Parliament with a far more detailed report early next year, but I encourage members to look at this report and to go on and look at the interactive dashboard to see exactly what their constituents are thinking about homelessness. I commend this report.