Federal Politics

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Malcolm Turnbull finds much to love as technology tackles homelessness

It's not every day a political leader publicly uses the word love, and it's even rarer that love and technology are joined in the same sentence.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tossed love around like fairy dust on Friday. Parliament, of course, hasn't yet resumed for the year.

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And fittingly for a man who wears an Apple watch and who never seems to stop obsessively scrolling and tapping at his smart phone, Mr Turnbull merrily conjoined the ideas of love and technology.

He was enthused by a new website that promises instant assistance for Australia's army of homeless.

The website, AskIzzy.org.au, is billed as the A to Z Directory of Homeless Help. Tap in your postcode, suburb or town, select housing, food, health, legal assistance, money or simply "everyday things" - among the menu of subjects on offer - and the website directs the user to one of the 350,000 or so services available to the homeless across Australia.

It was, said Mr Turnbull, a triumph of "deep love combined with technology focussed on the customer".

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"There is nothing lonelier than being homeless," he said.

Standing beneath a scrolled Biblical exhortation - "Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" - Mr Turnbull launched the AskIzzy website at the Salvation Army's lovely old headquarters in Bourke St, Melbourne.

Earlier, he mixed with homeless people gathered downstairs, whipping out his smart phone to demonstrate how the new system worked.

"It's terrific," said Heba Kalek, lamenting that she'd quite forgotten to ask for a selfie with the Prime Minister.

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