In the past two years the number of people sleeping rough in the city has increased.
People can become homeless for many reasons. We know that factors like unemployment, housing affordability, mental illness, family violence or substance abuse can be triggers.
Not everyone who is homeless sleeps on the streets – many are hidden and unseen, living in poor temporary accommodation, sleeping in a car or borrowing a sofa for a night.
It’s a complex and polarising issue. As a local authority, we work with housing services and outreach organisations to coordinate service delivery for rough sleepers and provide suitable pathways out of homelessness.
We also have a responsibility to ensure public places are clean safe and accessible for all members of the community.
That is why we are proposing amendments to the Activities Local Law 2009 which will focus on protecting public amenity and disability access, and increase Council’s ability to remove items that are left unattended in public places.
It is not illegal to be homeless, and we are continuing to work with service providers to help people find suitable housing.
We will also be talking directly to groups impacted by the local law amendments over the coming weeks.
Share your views
You can share your views on the proposed amendments to the local law by either or both of the following ways:
A formal submission is one made in accordance with the statutory public notice requirements. Formal submissions are considered individually by the Submissions (Section 223) Committee. Your submission is attributed to you by name and made publicly available. You also have an opportunity to address the Committee in person in support of your written submission through this process.
2: Fill in the survey below
If you do not want to go through the formal statutory process you can still share your views by filling in the online survey. It is an anonymous process and all feedback we receive this way will be summarised and included in a report to be considered by the Council’s Submissions (Section 223) Committee.
Public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Activities Local Law 2009 closes at 11.59pm on Friday 17 March 2017
All submissions will be considered by the Council’s Submissions (Section 223) Committee as part of the submission process.
The 2016 StreetCount
However, we have also seen an increase in the number of concerns from the community – including disability groups – around amenity, pedestrian flow, and aggressive begging. Concerns received increased from 52 in 2014 to 630 in 2016. In addition, our officers routinely remove an average of 150kg of unattended belongings per week.
The City of Melbourne has endorsed proposed amendments to the Activities Local Law 2009 that will enable us to better balance the needs of all people who share public space in our city.
The penalty for camping in public places has not changed. However, we have proposed a penalty for leaving items unattended in a public place.
Members of the public are invited to read the documents in Document Library and share their views on the proposed amendments to the Activities Local Law 2009.