June 22nd, 2010

Kevin Andrews MP, was the Shadow Minister for Families Housing & Human Services.


TODAY he is the Minister for Social Services. He has the power – but still no action.

June 22nd 2010 (4.15pm) Canberra, Australia This petition calls upon the Government to immediately provide assistance to homeless Australians by providing them with specially made emergency relief Backpack Bed. To date, Backpack Bed for Homeless has not received a single dollar from either Federal or State Governments to help Australian homeless turned away from shelters.

  • Yes. Backpack Bed for Homeless has received global attention for winning 7 global product design awards including the Worlds largest and most prestigious product design award for the Backpack Bed. German Red Dot “Best of the Best” – the Backpack Bed is now up there with past winners such as Rolls Royce, Apple Inc. and BMW.
  • Yes. The life saving Backpack Bed acquired by 3 museums including Essen Germany, Paris and Sydney.
  • Yes. The success of our Australian Backpack Bed Program has spread to 5 countries.
  • Yes. A United Nations award recipient (Project Mgr from the Sri Lankan Presidents Office) wished they had the Backpack Bed for the Tsunami and other disasters his team had to deal with.
  • Yes. Backpack Bed for Homeless has the written support of 600+ Welfare Agency Partners and homeless peak bodies.
  • Yes. Backpack Bed for Homeless has the study and feedback that proves our program works.
  • Yes. Sadly, the Federal Government is aware that Australia has (ABS 2011):
      • 105,237 homeless people
      • of these 40,878 will sleep on the street this year
  • The Suncorp Life Confidence Index (January 2011) showed 3.7 Million Australians are on the verge of financial collapse. This is on top of the existing 105,237 homeless.

No, the Federal Government has no current plan to help homeless turned away from shelter.

For a political history on Kevin Andrews MP click here. For his contact details click here. The Backpack Bed for Homeless program is what politicians call an announcable and deliverable.

February 23rd, 2011

The founder and chairman of Backpack Bed for Homeless, Tony Clark – was invited by Labor supporters to Parliament House in Canberra – to hold briefings with Members of Parliament and Senators. The Backpack Bed for Homeless study proven program NOW has the support of Federal MP’s and Senators across all major political parities – they all say the Backpack Bed for Homeless program is a “no brainer” and should be funded for a national rollout:

  • Labor
  • Liberal
  • Nationals
  • Greens

Sadly, despite the current and looming winter crisis the Labor Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Senator Mark Arbib explained he had no discretionary funding – and that Backpack Bed for Homeless would have to make a direct request from each State and Territory individually. He explained the States and Territories were given the funding to do our type of project. Considering the urgency and current national crisis – some Senators have determined that this is a pass off. Backpack Bed for Homeless is optimistic.

February 24th 2011

Greens show heavy support – Federal Parliament Senate Estimate discussion between:

    • Labor Senator Arbib (Minister for Homelessness)
    • Greens Senator Ludlam (Housing/Homelessness Portfolio)

Click to read full transcript “20 seconds of Commonwealth spending” Extract Below

Senator LUDLAM
“You were just telling us about a $20 billion housing spend. I just worked out while I was waiting to come on that $2.1 million is equivalent to 20 seconds of Commonwealth government spending annually. So, in the time it took me to put the question to you that is $2.1 million, which is 20 seconds of Commonwealth spending. We were just impressed to hear about the $20 billion housing spend. How can you tell us there is not? “

Senator ARBIB
“It is not sitting in Commonwealth bank accounts. It is with the states.”

Senator LUDLAM
“I realise it is not sitting in a bucket in your office, but is there no way you can use your considerable influence in caucus to swing 20 seconds worth of Commonwealth funding so that we can get one of these things to every rough sleeper in the country?”

March 15th 2011

Liberal Senator Payne (Shadow Minister for Housing) has also been a heavy supporter on top of other efforts stated:

“Swags for Homeless is a home-grown organisation that not only dedicates its time to providing emergency assistance to the homeless, but does so in such an effective manner as to have been honoured internationally for the practical design of its Backpack Bed. The Gillard Government has said it does not have $2.1 million available to provide emergency shelters to Australia’s homeless, yet it refuses to rule out spending $30 million of taxpayer’s money to promote its carbon tax.”


Despite a record number of homeless. Politicians continue to muddle with spin as to why street sleeping homeless should sleep on the streets when turned away from shelters. We have heard all sorts of excuses. The current tactic of politicians in power is the act of looking supportive – but to have no real substance on listening to 600+ Homeless Agency Partners in writing and the study results proving need and success. Dignity – a core basis of the International Human Rights Charter. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. “  600+ Welfare Agency Partners distribute the life saving Backpack Bed and agree our humane emergency relief helps the most needy of needy – those that sleep on the street. Let us hope that the Australian Government with their massive new pay rises can remember the Human Rights Charter and inspire other countries around the world to provide homeless turned away from shelters with life saving dignity – in the form of a Backpack Bed. The proven and award winning success of Backpack Bed for Homeless can be replicated around Australia – the world. This is why countries and charities around the world partner with Backpack Bed for Homeless. Humanity and the crisis of homeless turned away tonight from shelters must prevail.

Welfare agencies are screaming for our help