Quote of the day: “While safety is important I feel that confiscating tents will do little more than force rough sleepers into an even rougher situation. These people are experiencing significant difficulties in their lives and the removal of their meagre possessions is the wrong response.”
I have been deeply disappointed in how the City has handled the homeless community in Wentworth park this month. This community, along with the homeless in Belmore Park appear to be growing in number. My staff met with community members living in the viaduct arches to speak with those living there about their experiences. Many were deeply distressed at perceived threats by Council to remove all of their possessions from the archways.
Early last week when a clean-up of Wentworth Park was conducted City staff removed the tents from under the archways. I have spoken to senior staff who have cited illegal camping, fire safety and alienation of public space as grounds for removing the tents. They have referred to a previous incident where a homeless person set a tent on fire while cooking inside it, as a strong reason to remove homeless people’s tents.
While safety is important I…
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