Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has threatened to name a school in her state where a child was allegedly raped unless the state government helps the child’s homeless family.
- Elaine* quit her job to care for her two mentally disabled children after her daughter alleged she was raped at school when she was seven
- The family’s tenancy ended around Christmas and they were unable to find another home thanks to payment from Elaine’s carers
- Tasmania Senator Jacqui Lambie has threatened to publicly name the school unless the family is helped soon
Single mother Elaine, whose name has been changed to protect her daughter’s identity, quit her job to care for her two children after her then seven-year-old daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student at school.
They were unable to afford a private rental on payment from Elaine’s carer, and despite being placed on the public housing priority waiting list last year, they were left to couch surf .
Speaking in the Senate on Thursday night, Senator Lambie said the situation was “bloody shameful”.
“That’s how bad things are with social housing in this country,” said Senator Lambie.
“Child gets raped at school, state government can’t stop family from becoming homeless. That’s not good enough.”
Senator Lambie also called Premier Peter Gutwein’s response “bloody shameful” and said she was manipulated by various state deputies who told her it was “not my problem”.
“Well, that’s your fucking problem now,” she said.
“You don’t want me to come back here (to the Senate) in August and start naming a few things and a few people and this school. This is your warning – you set this.”
Those considered most in need of public housing in Tasmania can expect to wait an average of 62.5 weeks.
Prime Minister says Housing Minister will contact him
At a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Gutwein said the Department of Education and Housing Tasmania were supporting the family.
“I don’t want to comment on individual cases specifically, but I know education and housing have been engaged,” he said.
Tasmanian communities have been contacted for comment.
The ABC first reported on Elaine’s plight in December last year, shortly before the family became homeless.
Her two children have intellectual disabilities and have not been able to return to school.
After Elaine reported the allegations, the Education Department offered the family specialist counseling, e-learning and other services, as well as a year-long pass to a local zoo. .
Elaine said she was left in “utter disbelief” at the response.
Tasmania Police have closed the case without laying any charges.