This letter to the Lord Mayor notes the LIV's concerns about the proposed by-law amendments to broaden the definition of public camping that is banned in the City of Melbourne. The LIV is concerned by the impact of this by-law change on people sleeping rough in Melbourne.
Dear Lord Mayor,
Proposed changes to by-laws regarding homeless people in Melbourne’s CBD
The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) is concerned by the introduction of proposed by-law amendments which broaden the restriction on public camping in the Melbourne CBD and provide expanded powers to move on rough sleepers.
Currently camping is only banned in Melbourne if campers use a ‘vehicle, tent, caravan or any type of temporary or provisional form of accommodation’. However, the proposed change would expand this to prohibit all camping in a public place. The proposed by-law would also make it illegal for people to leave any unattended item in a public place, and allow for those items to be impounded and released on the payment of a fee.
While the LIV acknowledges that public spaces should be regulated to promote community health and safety, this should not be achieved through increased penalties or move-on laws that victimise some of the most vulnerable members in our community. Police and council employees already have extensive powers to address issues such as aggressive behaviour or public drunkenness.
Read the full submission (PDF)
Administrative Law and Human Rights Section