Melbourne City Council is asking the public to put forward their views on proposed changes to local laws targeting people experiencing homelessness.
We have until midnight Friday 17 March to have our say before the Council takes its final vote at the end of March.
Join us in calling on the Council not to proceed with these harsh new laws that will do nothing to help people experiencing homelessness, or address its root causes.
*Take 5 minutes to take the Council’s survey*
The quickest way to have your say!
*Make a submission*
Download the submission form at http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/news-and-media/public-notices/pages/proposed-amendments-activities-local-law-2009.aspx
You can send your submission via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail to GPO Box 1603, Melbourne VIC 3001 or deliver it in person to a number of locations listed on the webpage above.
*Join community actions to oppose the ban*
Follow https://www.facebook.com/nohomelessban to stay updated.
THE CHANGES IN BRIEF
Responding to the increased number of people sleeping rough in Melbourne's CBD and in the face of heavy negative media coverage in January 2017, on 7 February 2017 Melbourne City Council voted to introduce new laws targeting the city's homeless.
The Council is proposing to amend its Activities Local Law 2009 via the new Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2017.
Under the proposed changes, the Council will broaden the definition of camping, giving police powers to move on rough sleepers or fine them, and power to have people's belongings impounded if they are left unattended and charge a fee to get them back. Additionally, the council seeks to roll out an 'education campaign' to discourage the public from donating items directly to people experiencing homelessness.
These laws are punitive and unconstructive. They work on the rationale of discouraging homelessness, ignoring the fact that homelessness is not a choice. They will do nothing to help people experiencing homelesness or address the structural factors like poverty and lack of affordable housing that are its root causes.
Justice Connect has helpful resources that explain the changes and how they will affect the homeless:
You can also view the proposed changes on the Council's website: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/activities-local-law-2009-with-proposed-changes-public-amenity-2017.pdf
Join us in urging Melbourne City Council not to go ahead with these damaging and dangerous measures, and instead show humanity and leadership through constructive actions that will make a positive difference to the lives of our city’s homeless - including more funding for services and work with the Victorian Government to address the State’s housing crisis.
Homelessness is not a choice.