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‘Recipe for disaster’: Neil Mitchell concerned by camping ‘exemption’

Image: Camping is not allowed on St Kilda beach (pictured), unless..

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Bayside residents are outraged over a council by-law that essentially means it’s powerless to move on foreshore campers.

Neil Mitchell was alerted to the City of Port Phillip rule that says people can’t sleep on the streets of suburbs like St Kilda, Elwood and Albert Park unless:

a) The person is homeless; or,

b) The person has complex needs or is in need of additional assistance because of mental or physical disability or illness;

There’s also leniency for fundraising and buskers.

Neil Mitchell: I have enormous sympathy for people in those categories, but this is a recipe for social disaster. Port Phillip will become the homeless capital of Australia.

A recent count showed there are 91 people are sleeping rough in Port Phillip.

Elwood resident Barbara Strachan, who raised the issue of homelessness in Port Phillip, said it is an increasing issue.

“We think word’s obviously got out that there’s very, very nice park and land (in the Port Phillip council) and no one’s going to do anything about it,” she told Neil Mitchell.

But the mayor has defended the by-law.

Bernadene Voss spoke with Neil Mitchell about it on Tuesday.

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