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"Tent City" response to Sunday Times Article - 3 January 2021

Updated: May 8, 2021


It is unfortunate that the homeless can be used so shamelessly so close to Christmas and New Year holidays. The ratepayers and residents of Fremantle are very generous towards supporting homeless programs.


The City has been looking after our homeless for many years. We have an accurate count of our homeless. We have recently had the Long Table Dinner with St Pat’s that raised thousands of dollars for our homeless services. Our ratepayers, residents and business community are generous in their support of these services. The generosity of locals is truly amazing.


And yet we have an influx of approximately 100 homeless 2 days before Christmas. The City is not on top of the homeless issues, it would seem.


The homeless problem is a complex one and will not be sorted out by this makeshift Tent City style of problem solving. In the Sunday Times article on page 9, the Mayor makes reference to moving the homeless to permanent homes …“once charity services reopened after holiday period shutdown”.


If the Mayor has accommodation for 100 homeless people up his sleeve then as an elected member, I don’t know about it. It has not been brought to Council, a forum for all elected members. If this accommodation is available why would you wait until now?


As a City if we needed to cover the Christmas and New Year period with extra support why was this not brought to Council? No approvals, no compliance, no COVID, OMG, this is not how we look after our most vulnerable.


Who is this new group, Freo Street Kitchen? They are not a registered charity. Who has approved the project? As of last Friday, the City has confirmed that no approvals have been granted by the City.


Freo Street Kitchen, on the face of it, is a fly by night group with another agenda that pops up during an election cycle and melts away to resurface under a different guise somewhere else. And as for the homeless, the City will continue to work on the problem long after they are gone.


The city needs to do a thorough investigation and provide transparency to everyone.


RESPONSE TO ROEL LOPERS BLOG ON “Let Them Starve Instead”.

The City has been looking after our homeless for many years. We have an accurate count of our homeless. We have recently had the Long Table Dinner with St Pat’s that raised thousands of dollars for our homeless services. Our ratepayers, residents and business community are generous in their support of these services. The generosity of locals is truly amazing.


And yet we have an influx of approximately 100 homeless 2 days before Christmas. The City is not on top of the homeless issues, it would seem.


The homeless problem is a complex one and will not be sorted out by this makeshift Tent City style of problem solving. In the Sunday Times article on page 9, the Mayor makes reference to moving the homeless to permanent homes …“once charity services reopened after holiday period shutdown”.


If the Mayor has accommodation for 100 homeless people up his sleeve then as an elected member, I don’t know about it. It has not been brought to Council, a forum for all elected members. If this accommodation is available why would you wait until now?


As a City if we needed to cover the Christmas and New Year period with extra support why was this not brought to Council? In fact St Pat's also amply provides their services during this period. So where is the crises??


No approvals, no compliance, no COVID, OMG, this is not how we look after our most vulnerable.


Who is this new group, Freo Street Kitchen? They are not a registered charity. Who has approved the project? As of last Friday, the City has confirmed that no approvals have been granted by the City.


Freo Street Kitchen, on the face of it, is a fly by night group with another agenda that pops up during an election cycle and melts away to resurface under a different guise somewhere else. And as for the homeless, the City will continue to work on the problem long after they are gone.


Roel, this is not about Council bashing. As an elected member, I do not have the luxury of playing favourites nor looking the other way when there are serious compliance issues and the inequity of applying the standards on the business community but not on this group.

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