Mayor refuses to clear tent city


tentSYDNEY’S infamous homeless “tent city” may not be going anywhere soon with a crunch meeting between the State Government and City of Sydney Council abandoned with both saying the other should demolish the camp.

On Friday morning, the Government and Council met with the Police to try and resolve the impasse — but to no avail.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has accused the Government of wanting to wipe their hands of clearing away upwards of 40 tents and an open air kitchen stretching across the city’s iconic Martin Place and leaving the messy business all up to council.

“Without practical assistance and long term housing, these vulnerable people will be further harmed and the ‘tent city’ will simply relocate or return to Martin Place,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The situation is they [the Government] don’t want to do it, they all want me to do it and I will only consider doing it if I know that accommodation for those in Martin Place (is in place),”

While the City could confiscate property at the homeless camp, Mayor Moore is refusing to do so unless the Government meet a list of five demands including long-term housing solutions for the rough sleepers.

She has suggested the landmark Sirius public housing block in the The Rocks — which is lying almost empty with the Government keen to demolish it and sell it off for luxury apartments — be brought back into use for the Martin Place residents.

Ms Moore has also demanded a 24/7 homeless “safe space” should be created in the CBD providing food, showers and laundry facilities.

If the Government was determined to clear the tent city, Ms Moore said they could do so themselves through legislation relating to Crown land.

But Social Housing Minister Pru Goward said that would involve going through an uncertain court process to obtain warrants to issue to vulnerable people.