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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Homeless man fights camping fine

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A Brunswick Heads man appeared in the Mullumbimby Court on June 27 charged with failing to comply with a no camping sign, says Byron Shire Council’s governance manager Ralph James.

He told Echonetdaily that the defendant intends to challenge the fine he received and the case was adjourned until August 15.

Mr James said five ‘no camping’ fines had been issued in April at the Brunswick Heads Reserve. ‘Rangers had been to the Reserve on four prior occasions. Firstly to investigate the issue, assess the impacts, provide information on alternative accommodation options and finally move people on.

‘While camping on reserves and streets is a high priority, Council does not target homeless people and tries to assist wherever it can.

‘Camping in public streets and reserves’ has been identified as a high priory for Council’s ‘2013 Compliance program – Priorities.’

Greens launch homelessness plan

Meanwhile, the federal Greens candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker has launched the party’s Homelessness Action Plan to boost the supply of affordable housing and increase funding for services to tackle growing poverty in the community.

‘The lack of affordable housing on the north coast means that an increasing number of people in our community are forced to move in with friends, sleep in cars or live in sub-standard rentals due to rising rents and mortgages,’ Ms Walker said. ‘If you’re unfortunate enough to have complex life issues like a mental illness or suffer domestic violence, then ending up on the streets is all too common,’ said Ms Walker.

‘The old parties need to match the lead of the Greens and commit to increasing Newstart by $50 per week and an additional $40 on top of that for single parents to address growing poverty crises.’ She says the Greens’ Homelessness Action Plan has three priorities: to provide an emergency package to build 7,000 new homes by 2020; to include a 50 per cent target of ‘prefabricated’ housing to significantly reduce the time and cost of building the homes; and to double the current funding for specialist homelessness services in Australia.

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