Committee to focus on homelessness

By James Bennett

There's a chance homelessness in Shepparton might receive better outcomes with the Victorian Legislative Council’s Legal and Social Issues Committee set to launch an inquiry into homelessness across the state.

It's unknown at this stage if Shepparton is on the list of places it will visit, however, the same upper house committee visited Shepparton in July during its inquiry into spent convictions.

Committee chair and Reason Party leader Fiona Patten told the News in July, "we'll be back for that inquiry (homelessness) to fully understand the situation there".

The Legal and Social Issues committee has seven members and includes two Northern Victoria members - Liberal Wendy Lovell and Derryn Hinch's Justice Party's Tania Maxwell.

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed also previously told the News she expected the committee to visit the Shepparton electorate as Ms Lovell was on the committee.

The inquiry is expected to investigate social, economic and policy factors.

The official announcement coincided with Homelessness Week, last week.

Ms Patten said it was a "timely opportunity to put the spotlight on homelessness in our state".

“Many people have been calling for action on homelessness," she said.

"By consulting with community organisations, service providers and people who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness, the Committee will be seeking to ensure that there is an evidence-based approach that guides our responses to it.

“As part of our inquiry, we will be having face to face consultations, so we would like to hear from people who want to speak with the committee in person."

Regardless of a committee visit, local organisations can still make public comment with an online submission forum soon to be set up.

“We will be calling for organisations and community members with knowledge about homelessness to share their information with us through our submission process,” Ms Patten said.

More on the fight to reduce homelessness in Shepparton

Homeless Week morning tea at Friars

Students sleep out for homeless

Trends not where they should be

Documentary highlights harshness of youth homelessness