23 June, 2022
Showgrounds a possible solution for homelessness
SHOWGROUNDS around the Moreton Bay region could be a short term solution to homelessness, says Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery.
While the showgrounds, including at Caboolture and Woodford, sit on State land, Cr Flannery said the council manages the usage, usually through leases to show societies and other users.
“As a council, we haven’t talked too much about what we can do with short term things, we have always been happy to engage with State and Federal Governments about long term fixes, contributing where we can,” Cr Flannery said.
“We don’t believe it is one level of government’s responsibility to fix this.”
Cr Flannery said he thought about the problem of homelessness as temperatures began to drop, and felt the showgrounds offered a possible solution.
“My personal view is the we’ve got a lot of showgrounds which are State Government land, managed by councils, through a lease to a third party, that often have a lot of space and showers and toilets, they might be able to provide something in the short term.
“Where people would stay in those things, I don’t exactly know, but it is worth having that discussion with the State Government and maybe the Federal Government, if there’s an opportunity for dongas, or that sort of thing.
“I was just thinking about that last week because of the cooler months, you think ‘What can we do?’, it is a short term fix, everyone is always asking, ‘Do you have any land you can give us?’, we don’t have land we can give, but the State has land we manage that might fit the purpose on a short term basis.”
Despite his enthusiasm, Cr Flannery warned it was a short term solution only, and a long term fix would still be needed to the problem.
“Unless you are going to have a long term approach to it, it is a bit dangerous to a degree, to have a short term solution, where are you going to move after that, where are they going to stay, you have got to get all your ducks in a row first.”