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Homeless Persons Assistance Act 1974

Authoritative Version
Act No. 148 of 1974 as made
An Act to provide for Payments by Australia in respect of the Provision of Assistance for Homeless Persons and for certain other Persons.
Date of Assent 13 Dec 1974
Date of repeal 27 Sep 2006
Repealed by Social Security and Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Act 2006

HOMELESS PERSONS ASSISTANCE ACT 1974

 

No. 148 of 1974

 

An Act to provide for Payments by Australia in respect of the Provision of Assistance for Homeless Persons and for certain other Persons.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen, the Senate and the House of Representatives of Australia, as follows:—

Short title.

1.   This Act may be cited as the Homeless Persons Assistance Act 1974.

Commencement.

2.   This Act shall come into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

Interpretation.

3.   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears—

“alteration”, in relation to a building or other improvement on land, includes an addition to the building or improvement;

“approved assistance” means assistance by way of food, accommodation or a social welfare service;

“approved project” means the purchase of land, or the construction or alteration of a building or other improvement on land, approved under section 4 or carried out in accordance with an approval under that section;

“building” includes a part of a building and an addition to a building;

“committee” means a committee established under section 15;

“eligible organization” means—

(a) an organization that is carried on otherwise than for the purpose of profit or gain and is approved by the Minister as an eligible organization for the purposes of this Act;

(b) a local governing body; or

(c) the trustees for the time being under a trust established for charitable or benevolent purposes, being a trust in relation to which the Minister has determined that the trustees constitute an eligible organization for the purposes of this Act,

and includes—

(d) the trustee or trustees under a trust established by an organization referred to in paragraph (a) or by a local governing body; and

(e) a corporation established by such an organization or by a local governing body;

“homeless person” means—

(a) a person who has attained the age of 16 years and—

(i) has no settled home and is in need of approved assistance; or

(ii) although having a settled home, is temporarily in urgent need of approved assistance; or

(b) a person in respect of whom a person referred to in paragraph (a) is qualified to receive an endowment under Part VI of the Social Services Act 1947-1974;

“homeless persons assistance centre” means a place where approved assistance is, or is proposed to be, provided either wholly or mainly for homeless persons and where any accommodation provided is provided by way of temporary assistance only;

“local governing body” means a local governing body established by or under a law of a State or Territory;

“organization” includes a society and an association;

“prescribed period” means the period of 3 years commencing on the date of commencement of this Act;

“social welfare service” means a service or treatment provided by a social welfare worker;


 

“social welfare worker” means a social worker, welfare officer, psychologist, occupational therapist or other person who provides a service or treatment that—

(a) is directed to promoting the welfare of persons; and

(b) is of a kind for the time being approved by the Minister for the purposes of this Act.

Approval of projects.

4.   Where the Minister is satisfied that—

(a) during the prescribed period, an eligible organization—

(ii) has purchased or proposes to purchase any land, includ­ing land on which buildings or other improvements are constructed; or

(iii) has constructed or altered or proposes to construct or alter a building or other improvement on any land; and

(b) the land purchased or proposed to be purchased, or the building or improvement constructed or altered or proposed to be con­structed or altered is used or is proposed to be used permanently by or on behalf of that organization for or in connexion with a homeless persons assistance centre,

the Minister may, in his discretion, approve, for the purposes of this Act, the purchase or proposed purchase or the construction or alteration or the proposed construction or alteration, as the case may be.

Grants in respect of approved projects.

5. (1) Subject to this section, the Minister may, in his discretion, on behalf of Australia, pay to the eligible organization concerned an amount not exceeding the cost of an approved project.

(2) A payment under this section in respect of an approved project shall not be made except to a corporation in which, or to trustees in whom, there is vested or is to be vested—

(a) where the approved project is the purchase or proposed pur­chase of land—that land; or

(b) where the approved project is the construction or alteration, or the proposed construction or alteration, of a building or other improvement—the land on which the building is to be con­structed or is situated.

Grants in respect of rent of premises.

6.   Where the Minister is satisfied that, during the prescribed period, premises of which an eligible organization is the tenant are used or are proposed to be used for or in connexion with a homeless persons assistance centre that is operated or is proposed to be operated by or on behalf of that organization, the Minister may, in his discretion, on behalf of Australia, pay to that organization—

(a) an amount not exceeding the amount of rent paid by that organization in respect of those premises during so much of that period as the Minister, in his discretion, thinks fit;

(b) an amount not exceeding the cost incurred during that period by that organization of any alteration of a building or other improvement that forms part of those premises and is used or is proposed to be used for or in connexion with that homeless persons assistance centre; and

(c) if that organization became the tenant of those premises during that period, an amount not exceeding the cost incurred by that organization of obtaining the tenancy of those premises.

Grants in respect of fixtures, &c.

7.   Where the Minister is satisfied that, during the prescribed period, a homeless persons assistance centre is operated or is proposed to be operated on any land by or on behalf of an eligible organization, the Minister may, in his discretion, on behalf of Australia, pay to that organization—

(a) an amount not exceeding the cost (including the cost of installation) incurred by that organization of any fixtures installed by or on behalf of that organization during that period in a building or other improvement on that land that is used or is proposed to be used for or in connexion with that homeless persons assistance centre; and

(b) an amount not exceeding the cost of any furniture, furnishings or equipment purchased by or on behalf of that organization during that period and used or proposed to be used in connexion with that homeless persons assistance centre.


 

8.     (1) Where a person is employed as a social welfare worker by or on behalf of an eligible organization to provide a social welfare service at a homeless persons assistance centre operated by or on behalf of that organization, the Minister may, in his discretion, on behalf of Australia, pay to that organization the amount necessary to reimburse that organization in respect of an amount not exceeding one-half of the salary or wages paid by or on behalf of that organization to that person for the provision of that service during such period or periods after the commencement of this Act as the Minister, in his discretion, thinks fit.

Grants in respect of staff.

(2) Where 2 or more persons are employed as social welfare workers by an eligible organization to provide social welfare services at the same homeless persons assistance centre at the same time, the Minister shall not make a payment under sub-section (1) in respect of the salary or wages paid to more than 1 of those persons unless the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify his making such a grant.

Grants in respect of food and accommodation.

9. (1) The Minister may, in his discretion, on behalf of Australia, pay to an eligible organization, in respect of any day after the commencement of this Act on which food and accommodation are provided for homeless persons at a homeless persons assistance centre operated by or on behalf of that organization, an amount calculated at such rate as is prescribed for each homeless person to whom food and accommodation are so provided on that day.

(2) A reference in sub-section (1) to the provision of food includes a reference to the provision of a ticket, voucher or token that may be exchanged for food.

Grants in respect of meals.

10. (1) The Minister may, in his discretion, on behalf of Australia, pay to an eligible organization, in respect of any day after the commencement of this Act on which meals are provided for homeless persons at a homeless persons assistance centre operated by or on behalf of that organization, an amount calculated at such rate as is prescribed for each meal provided on that day to a homeless person for whom that organization does not provide accommodation on that day.

(2) A reference in sub-section (1) to the provision of a meal includes a reference to the provision of a ticket, voucher or token that may be exchanged for a meal.

Manner of making payments.

11. Payments under this Act shall be made at such times, or by such instalments at such times, as are determined by agreement between the Minister and the eligible organization concerned or, in the absence of such an agreement, by the Minister.

Advances.

12. The Minister may, at such times as he thinks fit, make advances of such amounts as he thinks fit to an eligible organization on account of a payment that may become payable under this Act.

Conditions relating to payments, &c.

13. (1) A payment or advance under this Act may be made upon such terms and conditions, not inconsistent with this Act, as the Minister thinks fit.

(2) Before a payment or advance is made under this Act, the Minister may require the eligible organization concerned to enter into an agreement with him with respect to the terms and conditions upon which the payment or advance is to be made.

(3) Without limiting the generality of sub-sections (1) and (2), an agreement under sub-section (2) may, if the Minister considers the circumstances so require, include provision for the repayment of the whole or part of the payment or advance to Australia in specified circumstances, and for the giving of security for the carrying out of the agreement.

Approvals to be in writing.

14. An approval or determination for the purposes of this Act shall be given or made in writing under the hand of the person giving the approval or making the determination.


 

Advisory committees.

15. (1) The Minister may establish such committees as he thinks fit for the purpose of giving advice to the Minister on such matters relating to the administration of this Act as the Minister directs and may appoint persons to be members of a committee so established.

(2) A member of a committee shall be paid such remuneration as is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal but, if no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, he shall be paid such remuneration as is prescribed.

(3) A member of a committee shall be paid such allowances as are prescribed.

(4) This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunals Act 1973-1974.

Delegation.

16. (1) The Minister may, by writing under his hand, delegate to an officer of the Australian Public Service, either generally or otherwise, all or any of his powers and functions under this Act except this power of delegation.

(2) A power or function so delegated may be exercised or performed by the delegate in accordance with the delegation.

(3) A delegate of the Minister is, in the exercise of his powers and the performance of his functions under this Act, subject to the directions, if any, of the Minister.

(4) A delegation under this section is revocable at will and does not prevent the exercise of a power or the performance of a function by the Minister.

Appropriation.

17. Payments under section 5, 6, 7 or 8, and advances on account of payments under that section, shall be made out of moneys appropriated from time to time by the Parliament for the purposes of that section.

Moneys to be paid out of National Welfare Fund.

18. Payments under section 9 or 10, and advances on account of payments under that section, shall be made out of the Trust Account established under the National Welfare Fund Act 1943-1952 and known as the National Welfare Fund.

Regulations.

19. The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters that are required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.