Robert Doyle

A public forum on March 17 discussed the implications of Melbourne City Council's proposed amendments to Activities Local Law 2009.

The changes would broaden the definition of “camping” to mean people currently sleeping rough could be forcibly moved on by police and face fines for possessing a piece of cardboard or bedding. The city of Melbourne would be effectively criminalising homelessness.

Following a string of noise complaints, the City of Melbourne will introduce a three-month ban on amplified busking on Swanston Street. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the council hoped making Swanston St from Flinders Lane to La Trobe Street a non-amplified busking zone would cut the number of noise complaints. However Melbourne busker Des Kennedy feared the situation could become more permanent and widespread. He organised a silent protest of about 60 angry buskers outside the Melbourne Town Hall, saying the ban would kill buskers’ income.