The problem outshining the Australian Open

While many are enjoying the action on the courts of the Australian Open, it is what’s happening outside Rod Laver

While many are enjoying the action on the courts of the Australian Open, it is what’s happening outside Rod Laver Arena that is getting a lot of the attention.

After an effort from the Victorian government and the Victorian Police to move the homeless population away from the venue, a makeshift camp has been set up outside Flinders Street station which is the central travel hub for those visiting the Australian Open. Reports have been made of spectators seeing drug use and being aggressively asked for money.

One visitor from the US told the Herald Sun his experience was saying, “I’m from (Washington) DC, and I’ve never seen anything as bad as this. You can’t walk 250 metres without being hassled for money.

“It’s not a good look for Melbourne. It doesn’t look like the world’s most liveable city from what I’ve seen so far”.

This sentiment was reaffirmed by a Scotish tourist who said, “I’ve been to Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide, and this is the worst I’ve seen.

“It’s literally in your face everywhere you turn”.

This morning the Herald Sun also reported this morning that there is a split on how the government and the police want to deal with the homeless issue in Melbourne. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle hasn’t confirmed a divide but did say “I am very keen to work with Victoria Police in coming months on the new assertive, even aggressive, outreach programs that we are trialling to address homelessness.”

While many are claiming that the police aren’t doing enough, the police are saying they are doing what they can and neither the council nor the state government talking about the Flinders St camp it is likely to be a hot topic for the next few weeks.

It does shine a light on the growing problem of homelessness in Australia with one local businessman summing it up, “It’s a very bad look for the whole of Australia, not just Melbourne. It’s such a shame.”

What do you think could be done about the homeless problem facing Australia? Have you or someone you know found themselves homeless at one stage in life?

  1. Mary Heffernan  

    What do they expect? Both state and federal governments have cut funding to drug and alcohol and homeless services, and the developers have gobbled up the boarding houses where the socially disadvantaged used to stay. Of course it’s going to create problems, but maybe this is just the sort of “shaming” the pollies need to provide the $$$ to fund services and public housing for these people, who have been abandoned by Australian society. Maybe instead of dipping into the public purse every time they turn around, the pollies could fund some of their travel expenses out of their own pockets, and there would be enough left over to alleviate this problem.

    • Guy Flavell  

      So Mary, the Government should be giving this scum even more money to fund their drugs, alcohol, tats, body piercings, etc ???
      Water canons are the solution … NOT more money to fund their worthless and dishonest lifestyles !!!

  2. i have a suggestion, why doesn’t the Government spend the money it pays the refugees and all the perks the politicians get on the homeless AUSTRALIANS. It is not there fault they have no where to live, if you keep shutting these places down, of course they end up on the street. Our homeless go around with old clothing and sometimes no shoes, or shous with holes in them, while the refugees have all the best shoes and clothing, that even I could not afford. Start getting your priorities right for a change. Listen to what the Australian people are saying. Then you might, just might solve some of the homeless peoples problem.

    • Diana swift  

      Jan I recently met a “refugee” – someone who arrived by boat and spent five years in a detention centre. He escaped Iran . His wife and three children drowned at sea. He was a broken man. I met him through a friend and previously I was rather ambivalent about the refugee problem. But this person was just trying to get through each day. I’m not jealous of his situation. It’s just so easy to use a particular group of the community as scapegoats. Please remember history. Remember the plight of the Jews in nazi germany. Europe turned a blind eye there for some time. I’ve seen the problem in Melbourne and it was confronting. As a community we need to find a solution. It’s about affordable housing and it’s about people taking responsibility for themselves also. Everyone deserves to have a decent life and access to safe clean housing. A lot of people living tough have lost the ability to help themselves. I’m not sure what I would do if my life suddenly disintegrated but I’m not sure I would camp out st the train station and sbuse people that passed by. What I do think is that we need to come together as a community not continually point fingers and assign blame because all it does is divide us. The world is a tad f^*++ I’d up right now. It ain’t going to get any better unless we confront our attitudes to each other. Best wishes …

      • Guy Flavell  

        But Diana, many of these so-called “homeless” are beyond our help and really don’t want it. They thrive on this kind of
        drug related camaraderie and are apparently making heaps of cash begging on top of their social service benefits.
        They have been offered public housing in the outer suburbs for as little as $60 per week rentals but have declined same
        as it doesn’t fit into their worthless and dishonest lifestyles. I certainly don’t believe these parasites are at all indicative of
        truly homeless people. Bring out the water canons and clean these scumbags away from our usually pristine city locations.
        They are making Melbourne look like it’s part of the Third World.

  3. The tent photo definitely was not taken at Flinders St Station.

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