Kiama MP Gareth Ward and Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness Ryan Park have attacked each other over the NSW Government's plan to count homelessness in regional NSW.
On August 5, Mr Ward announced the government would conduct a large-scale street count of homeless people in regional and rural areas for the first time.
During a visit to Nowra last week, MP Ryan Park criticised the location and methodology of the count.
"The problem with the regional count is that some of the areas he's counting have very, very low homelessness to start with," he said.
He should get his politics away from the issue, it's very disappointing he needed to say that.Kiama MP Gareth Ward
"They haven't worked out the methodologically on how they're going to do it, when they're going to start, what areas they're going to focus on.
"But, more importantly, if you count someone on the street who is homeless, where do you put them if you don't have housing stock?"
Kiama MP and Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward was scathing in his response.
"I'm sorry Ryan is trying to politicise this issue," Mr Ward said.
"He should get his politics away from the issue, it's very disappointing he needed to say that.
"I briefed him on that the other day and he didn't write the issue down or raise it with me.
"We use the same methodology that we used in the City of Sydney... unlike Mr Park, I participated in the regional count, perhaps if he came with me he might have an idea what is going on."
The lack of affordable and social housing has been touted as a major factor in the growing homelessness problem.
MP Ryan Park blamed the NSW Government's current priorities.
"I think the issue we have is the government is very much focused on infrastructure in Sydney," he said.
"Safe and secure housing is simply being overlooked."
Mr Ward said his government was making clear investments in social housing.
"We're investing more than $22 billion in public housing," he said.
"We took the tough decision to sell harbourside properties, to sell Millers Point.
"I announced some funding for new homes just recently which will include eight properties in Nowra for women over 55 at the risk of homelessness."
The first trial of the street homelessness counts will take place in Tweed Heads, Western NSW and Newcastle in the next few months with a statewide count planned for February next year.