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Greens calling to decriminalise begging on Melbourne’s streets

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says there’s little in his power to stop Melbourne’s homelessness problem in the CBD.

Tennis fans arriving at Flinders Street Station have been greeted with abuse and obscenities from rough sleepers.

‘It’s going to be a long struggle, I think,’ Cr Doyle said on 3AW.

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The Greens want begging decriminalised.

Over the past five years, more than 800 people have been charged with begging.

Melbourne Greens MP Ellen Sandell told 3AW’s Tony Jones a lot of people needed help, but it’s just not there for them.

‘We know that there are a lot of people struggling to find a house and sleeping on the street,’ she said.

‘There’s no sense making it a crime to ask for help.’

Tony Jones met one beggar recently, Adam, who openly admitted he was begging for drug money and rakes in around $150 a day.

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