The changes to the caravan and camping occupation law is discriminatory towards people in our community experiencing poverty and homelessness.
The new law states:
4.2.2 The owner or occupier of land must not, without a permit, camp, or allow or suffer any other person to camp, on the land:
(a) in a manner that causes a nuisance;
or (b) for any more than 4 consecutive weeks;
or (c) for any more than a total of 3 months in any calendar year.
According to our last census, more that 50% of Hepburn Shire’s population are on a low income, below the median wage.
A pensioner gets just under $900 a fortnight from Centrelink, A single parent gets less.Yet our cheapest rentals in Daylesford are $300 to $400 a week.
I am part of a support network who volunteer tirelessly for these people & find it abhorent how uneducated many are in the plight of those needing housing. It took us 11 years to house a man in his 40s as that is the waiting list for public housing. There is no where for them to go. We have had men in their 60s& 70s, single parents, young people begging for help. The current govt cut all funding by 3/4s. Slashing funds to all healthcare, homeless, legal aid, domestic violence, counselling, material aid, drug & alcohol, mental health, housing & list goes on & on.
Support services in Ballarat are advising homeless families to” buy a tent” with their next payment.
These new time restrictions on camping on your own land require a permit.
On what grounds might a permit be refused? Refusing a permit discriminates against those in difficult financial situations or who have chosen to live more frugally such as:
- Homeless people seeking support
- A family that can’t afford to extend their home but needs more space for their teenage children
- The Tiny house movement
These new laws are unjust and don’t support the most vulnerable members of our community.
We call for council to work with us to develop laws that care for it’s community, laws we can all abide by.