Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Wants To Ban Homeless People From Sleeping Rough

What could possibly go wrong here.
Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is tackling the city’s homeless problem head-on by proposing that being homeless in the city be made more or less illegal.
The city, and NewsCorp, is in the middle of a moral panic about what to do with the increasing homelessness issue that’s seeing makeshift camps spring up at “important” places like Flinders Street Station. Victoria Police and City of Melbourne officials had attempted to move people on from camping at Flinders St in a campaign that only started in the lead up to the Australian Open commencing, and therefore an influx of tourists arriving in the city. Curious.
Now Mayor Doyle is apparently set to propose a new city bylaw that makes sleeping on the city streets completely illegal.
Doyle insists that many of the people currently sleeping rough in the Melbourne CBD are not genuinely homeless, and are merely pretending to be in order to shake down tourists for money. Pretending. To be homeless.
Doyle spoke to NewsCorp about the issue, wherein he referred to homeless people as a “blight on our city,” and took a sly dig at Victoria Police for not simply arresting everyone sight unseen and carting them off out of sight.

“I am happy to put this proposal before councillors at our first meeting if it is Victoria Police’s recommendation, and they guarantee that they will enforce it.”

“Police already have powers to arrest for obstruction, for drug use, for threatening or aggressive behaviour, and for begging, and I would like to see them make full use of those powers as well.”

“I welcome any move by police to bring an end to what has become a blight on our city, and the City of Melbourne continues to work with them to do that.”

Ahhh yes, very good. A proposal to prevent homeless people from sleeping in certain places, that provides no word of an alternative option for them, largely because you’re convinced that some people are faking being homeless.

A plan that’s only foolproof because it’s proof that a fool devised it.

Source: The Age.
Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty.