The 2016 StreetCount recorded an increase of 74 per cent in Melbourne’s homeless population in two years. We do not believe that sleeping on the street is an acceptable alternative for anyone and we are doing everything we can to help people find suitable housing.

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.

From 16 February until 17 March 2017 we invited the community to share their views on the proposed amendments to the Activities Local Law 2009.

We received 2556 submissions, including:

  • 717 formal submissions from individuals, community and government agencies in accordance with the statutory public notice requirements
  • 1637 responses to our online survey
  • 202 responses from face-to-face targeted engagement, including people who are experiencing homelessness, our Homelessness Advisory Committee, businesses, disability groups, and homelessness service providers.

Please see updates below as well as information around the Submissions (Section 223) Committee meetings.

All submissions and feedback received during the consultation period (16 February - 17 March 2017) will be considered by Council’s Submissions (Section 223) Committee via a Submissions (Section 223) Committee Report, which has been prepared to assist the Committee to consider its recommendations to Council. This report provides a high level analysis and summary of the submission and engagement process, and includes the documents listed in the document library below.

All written submissions received have also been provided and are also included in the document library below.

The Committee met on 30 March and 6 April 2017 to hear from people who nominated to address the Committee. These meetings were held in the Yarra Room, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne, starting at 3pm each day. Submissions were considered in the order they were received by Council.

Audio recording – Submissions Committee meeting, 30 March 2017

Audio recording - Submissions Committee meeting, 6 April 2017

The Submissions (Section 223) Committee is an advisory committee of Council. This means it cannot make any decisions; it can only make recommendations to Council. The membership of the Committee comprises senior officers of the Council. Councillors are not members of the Committee. Meetings of the Committee are open to members of the public.