Gippsland South The Nationals Education

Homeless on the agenda for MPs and students

Students from Mirboo North Secondary College have had the opportunity to grill local MPs on the importance of tackling homelessness in Gippsland this week.

The Nationals’ Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien, Member for Morwell Russell Northe and Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath all visited the year 11 VCAL students at Mirboo North to discuss the challenge of homelessness and how it can be best addressed locally.

Mr O’Brien said the students had been studying the issue for some time and their research was exceptional.

“It was great to come and sit down and chat with the students about homelessness, in particular youth homelessness, and how big the issue is locally. I was so impressed with the depth that the students had researched to and how much it had clearly touched them,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Frankly it was quite challenging to be put on the spot by these students about how government can better assist to tackle this important issue.”

Ms Bath said it was great to go back to the school she previously taught at and talk through some of the challenges the students have been learning about.

“This is not an issue that is just about people sleeping on the streets – there are many forms of homelessness – and we’d be naïve to think it doesn’t occur here,”

“I commend Mirboo North Secondary College and teacher Andrew McGrath for raising awareness of this issue among students.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the students had advised local MPs that there are an estimated 2,000 homeless people in Gippsland at any given time.

“The students have put forward local ideas, including planning for a local equivalent of the ‘Sleep at the G’ to raise money and awareness of homelessness locally,” Mr Northe said.

“This is a complex issue with no easy solutions and it was great to sit down and talk with the students about this important issue.”

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