In response to the present Covid-19 situation, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has agreed to suspend its inquiry into homelessness in Australia until a later date.
Chair of the Committee, Mr Andrew Wallace MP, said that the Committee was conscious of the significant pressures on interested people and groups, particularly organisations working in the housing and homelessness sector, at this difficult time.
‘The Committee does not wish to add to the stress on community groups, or divert their efforts from responding to Covid-19, by asking for submissions to the inquiry now’, Mr Wallace said.
He added that ‘The Committee also realises that the situation for homelessness in Australia is going to look different after Covid-19 than it did before.
‘Suspending the inquiry will allow relevant experts, organisations and affected people to provide evidence to the Committee later, that takes into account the impact of Covid-19 on homelessness in Australia. It will also mean the Committee can consider those issues and ensure that its inquiry into this extremely important issue is relevant and timely.’
The Committee will cease accepting submissions after 1 April 2020, with the intention of reopening the inquiry for new submissions at a later time. Submissions already provided are being considered by the Committee and will not need to be resubmitted later. Those who have already submitted will be able to add to their submissions, if they wish, when the inquiry is restarted.
The Committee has not specified the period of suspension of the inquiry. It has decided to remain flexible and consider the appropriate time to restart work on the inquiry. Information and updates will be available on the inquiry website.