The Australian Government is to hold a forum on homelessness in Lismore next month, as part of a series of national consultations on the issue.

The Government has released a Green Paper -Which Way Home? A new approach to homelessness, which highlights the challenges faced by people who are homeless and analyses Australia’s response.

The Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, says that after 17 years of strong economic growth it is unacceptable that 100,000 Australians are homeless on any given night, including 10,000 children.

“The Government has committed $200,000 for the Lismore Homeless shelter, but that is just one measure,” Ms Saffin said.

“The Green Paper puts forward options for new ways of responding to homelessness, including a greater focus on prevention and early intervention.”

Reducing homelessness is a shared responsibility that requires a national commitment and strong leadership from all levels of government and from the not-for-profit and business sectors, Ms Saffin said.

Ms Saffin said the Minister for Housing, Tanya Plibersek, was inviting public discussion on homelessness, and it was important that members of the local community made a contribution.

“The Government wants to know what the broader community thinks — including people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness, service providers, business and other community members,” she said.

“This will inform the development of the White Paper in September, which will set out the Government’s plan of action for the next 10 years.”

The consultation will be held in Lismore on June 16 at the Fountain Room, City Hall, from 2pm to 4pm. To register or to request a copy of the Green Paper call 1800 774 055.

The Green Paper is also available at www.fahcsia.gov.au