25 October 2022


Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef
and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs) (10.09 am):

About 20 per cent of those experiencing homelessness in Queensland are young people. Young people who are couch surfing or staying with family or friends often have much higher levels of psychological distress and report poorer overall mental health. Those who experience homelessness and housing instability as children are more likely to disengage with education and training and face a range of other challenges. That is why it is vital that those young people are part of a conversation.


Earlier this week, I met online with young Queenslanders from across the state to hear firsthand
their experiences. We heard from young people who have experienced residential care and people now
working in the social services sector, through to others who are just feeling the pressure of the private
rental market. Beyond being disproportionately impacted by housing stress, young people also have
great innovative ideas and solutions, which is why it was so important that their voices and ideas were
amplified at the Housing Summit convened by the Premier last week.

At the summit we heard from young people like Jordanah Chan from the Queensland Youth
Housing Coalition, who shared her lived experiences, both as someone experiencing housing insecurity
and as someone who works with young people in the foster system. I want to thank Jordanah and
everyone who attended the summit and the youth round tables that were convened. They made their
voices heard and we are acting on solutions.

We have announced a $30 million Youth Homelessness Strategy. I want to acknowledge Holly
who joined Minister Enoch and me and who bravely shared her story in the hope it will help others to
break the cycle and address the broad issues that often lead to homelessness for young people. That
is on top of the $40 million we already provide to specialist homelessness services. We have added
another $1 billion to the Housing Investment Fund. We have completed our 4,000th social home, with
more than 5,600 in the pipeline.

Safe, secure and affordable housing is vital in order to get the best possible education, job and
start in life. There is no one size that fits all. We need all levels of government to work together to solve
this very difficult issue. The Palaszczuk government will always listen to young people and make sure
that we act for them.