Report on Homelessness in Melbourne - Dr David Wilson, CEO

On Tuesday February 7th, the Future Melbourne Committee met, on the Agenda was an item entitled ‘Homelessness and Public Amenity.

Full Committee Report

The proposal incorporated a recommended change to the ‘Activities Local Law (Public Amenity and Security)’ in two major areas. The first is to broaden the definition of camping in public places and the second is to have the power to remove unattended belongings. The proposal also contained various other recommendations of a less contentious nature.

In many ways it is a proposal that shows the city grappling with, on a city-wide basis, the same issues we have to address in the Laneway at Central House. How can we limit the amount of ‘stuff’ piling up over weeks, how do we deal with belongings left behind, and how do we nurture the amenity of the Laneway so it is a safe place of belonging for all. While being respectful of the task before them I disagree with the broadened definition of camping and believe there are options that the Council can look at that will address the issues with a greater respect for the human rights of those most effected.

I took the opportunity to address these matters first in a written submission and then verbally to the Committee last Tuesday night. These concerns were received well. The written submission can be viewed here. 

Read the full report on the Committee Meeting here.
Read my submission to the Committee here.