Jo Faith, Newtown
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every single human has a right to be housed. The Echo recently reported a disturbing incident at Brunswick Park where a homeless, crippled, First Nations male was severely beaten up by disturbed persons, who beat the man with his own wheelchair. His serious injuries required hospitalisation. His homeless situation and vulnerability highlight the serious need address the present dire ongoing socio-economic situation that created this criminal act.
The growing underclass of people in Byron illustrates poor planning as the drive for elitist development appears to be the only priority focus of Town Planning in the Shire. The Byron Shire community receive the highest number of welfare payments in the country (Echo 6 Jan, 2021) Rental properties have dried up, and those that may exist exceed reality principles of those in the Shire on welfare. Even people with leases have been ejected from residences in order for ‘the market’ to take advantage of Airbnb markets. Where all of this sits with the Dept. of Fair Trading is unknown.
Much debate surrounds the current ‘Affordable Housing’ Private market. This private socio-economic market pales into insignificance when compared to the long established public market, which upholds safety and affordability rights within long-term renting. These factors directly open the need for debate addressing the ongoing rights for all, as reflected in the public market. The public market exists in the Byron Shire. I ask, who is representing the public market? And where are the proposals for further development of this public market in Byron Shire?
It is to be hoped that the private ‘Affordable Housing’ model has not diluted the rights of the exisiting Public Market! Developers seldom uphold human rights. If we want the disabled, poor and disenfranchised to live on the Streets and in the Parks we thus violate the International Declaration of Human Rights as a community.
We are all responsible, collectively.