The Premier failed to have any solutions to the Eurobodalla homelessness issues when he met with Mayor Hatcher today over a coffee.
In what should have been a well prepared response, prepared by the NSW Premier to address the Mayor's request for State assistance, was little more than a token nod to indicate comprehension of the issue across the region, but specifically at North Head Moruya Camping ground.
On Friday 13th of January, 2023, the Mayor said in a media release:
“The NSW Government is responsible for crisis and social housing, and they must step in and help us solve this issue".
“These are primitive campgrounds, meaning there is no permanent hot water or enclosed showers. They simply aren’t a suitable place for people to be living permanently.”
Council has been working with local homelessness agencies and case managers are visiting the campground weekly, where more than 50 people experiencing homelessness are currently living.
“The local agencies are doing great work in terms of providing support, but what no one can offer right now is a suitable place for these people to live,” the Mayor said.
“We need the Premier to act quickly. The NSW Government could buy a motel or a block of units to temporarily house people in a crisis.
“The situation has become critical and now is the time for the NSW Government to do something.
“I don’t want people living in freezing cold tents again this winter and the local council installing temporary hot showers to provide some small comfort and dignity.
“In Australia in 2023, everyone should have a roof over their head and the security of a place to call home.
“I’m asking the Premier to provide this basic human right for the people living at North Head campground.”
The meeting today could have been so much more than a coffee that had the Premier say he would have a response within a week.
The Premier has known for over a week that he was coming to the Eurobodalla. His office had already locked in a meeting with the Mayor and Blind Freddy would have known the number one issues on the table would have been the State's obligations around the NSW Government being responsible for crisis and social housing, and their failure to step in and help solve the issue in the Eurobodalla, and Moruya in particular.
The failure in preparedness by the Premier to show respect of the local Mayor in preparing a variety of solutions for discussion only added to the lack of respect in inviting the Eurobodalla Mayor to the official opening of the new Emergency Department demountables in Moruya, just a stone's throw from the Council Chambers.
Instead the Premier chose to invite the Mayor of Bega to assist with the ribbon cutting, a move that was little more than cheap advertising for the Liberal Candidate in the upcoming NSW Election. The stunt has been seen for what it was and does little for the reputation of either the Premier or his candidate.
It will be interesting to see what immediate solutions the Premier offers in one week.