(2.30pm, Wednesday 25 June 2014, Reception Room)
Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to Town Hall.
This is a sad day, as the service which we've run for the past 30 years closes at the end of this month.
So today is an opportunity to thank you for the service achieved during its years of operation.
It has taken over 60,000 calls a year, proving itself an invaluable service to people in crisis, people who need a roof over their heads, or for people who are at risk of becoming homeless.
Throughout those years, HPIC staff have worked closely with their City colleagues, with representatives of the NSW Government, and with the many organisations represented here today.
Homelessness remains a huge - and often hidden - problem in Australia. While some people sleep rough, many, many more are in refuges or overcrowded dwellings, or couch surfing. They all deserve our help and support.
For 30 years the City has supported the Homeless Persons' Information Centre.
So it is all the sadder to see the HPIC replaced by the service which the government is rolling out. While the theory sounds fine, there are doubts that it will be as effective as the Government intends.
Let's hope that it will be.
Meanwhile, I want to thank all of you - most especially the staff of HPIC, for all you have done, for the hard work and the heart you all put into the task. And I thank all those from the government and private sectors who helped do such a wonderful job over the past 30 years.
Thank you all.