Council votes for more homeless talk

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The City of Rockingham council chambers.
Camera IconThe City of Rockingham council chambers. Credit: WA News.

A motion for the City of Rockingham to consider five options that could assist the homeless was defeated at last week’s council meeting, with councillors instead voting to support another motion that supported the creation of a discussion paper.

Councillor Matt Whitfield had put forth a motion that requested that the City chief executive compile five options that could “genuinely and quantifiably assist homeless persons in Rockingham” and to prepare a report on these, including costings, for the council’s consideration by October 2019.

Cr Whitfield said options that could have been considered included lockers and supporting the development of a shelter.

Councillor Katherine Summers, who has been homeless herself, supported the motion, and said action needed to be taken now, rather than further discussions. However, Cr Whitfield’s motion was defeated, with all councillors voting for another motion put forth by Councillor Leigh Liley.

During debate, Cr Liley had said there was an obvious issue of homelessness in the area, but she believed action was being taken.

Her motion requested that the council continued to support the City’s role as a stakeholder in the State’s Strategy on Homelessness and directed the chief executive to prepare a discussion paper on homelessness.

Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin said a “suite of solutions” were needed to address homelessness, but that these should come from experts in the field, not local government.

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