Skip To Content
  • Australia Votes 2016 badge

Bill Shorten Spent Election Eve Feeding Homeless People

One in every 200 Australians is homeless.

Labor leader Bill Shorten spent election eve volunteering with charity groups, serving food to homeless people in Sydney.


As the sun was setting on the longest election campaign in Australian history, Shorten joined Reverend Bill Crews' charity the Exodus Foundation at 9pm on Friday to serve hot meals to homeless people in Woolloomooloo.

Labor has pledged to halve homelessness by 2025 and address the national housing affordability crisis if it wins government on Saturday.


Shorten says he'll reverse the over $1 billion in cuts to frontline community services made in the last three Coalition budgets, including $500 million from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and youth and community health programs. He'll also appoint a minister for housing and homelessness.

There are currently 105,237 homeless people in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


A quarter of those (26,744) are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

More than half are under 35.

The Coalition invested $230 million over two years to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, a federal-state initiative that funds frontline homelessness services, but funding is due to run out in June 2017.


Labor has pledged $88 million over two years for a new safe housing program for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Shorten has also promised to provide a one-off establishment grant of $3 million to Homes4Homes, a social enterprise run by The Big Issue that aims to raise capital funds to invest back into affordable housing.

Labor will also provide $4 million if elected to stop the closure of inner Sydney's Haymarket Clinic, which provides refuge to homeless people.


The 40-year-old clinic is due to close after it lost its annual federal funding of $900,000 as part of cuts announced in the 2014-15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Charities say neither party has invested enough in tackling homelessness and housing affordability.

St Vincent de Paul is calling for the establishment of a $10 billion social and affordable housing fund, as well as reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

"Housing should be a human right for all and not a speculative sport for some. Currently, with 200,000 households waiting for social housing, it is clear that this has to be a priority for the next government," St Vincent de Paul CEO John Falzon said.

Earlier on Friday evening, the Bill Bus was spotted trolling Malcolm Turnbull's office in Edgecliff.

Facebook: video.php

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here