People with lived experience or service providers working with the vulnerable in our community are being sought for a new advisory committee to coordinate Launceston's response to the growing problem of homelessness.
A notice of motion to approve the terms of reference for the new homelessness advisory board was approved during last week's City of Launceston June Council meeting.
The motion was moved by deputy Mayor Danny Gibson who said the council was not there to "fix homelessness."
"The reality is that there will never be enough support...we can't fix homelessness, but what we can do is present ideas and solutions with a shared voice," Cr Gibson said.
The new advisory committee will bring service providers such as City Mission, Shekinah House, Anglicare, St Vincent de Paul along with bodies such as the Department of Communities Tasmania and Tasmania Police together with the council to provide coordinated strategies.
Questions with notice were also submitted by Launceston resident Ray Norman, who asked the council a series of questions related to homelessness, including an update on the committee and what the council was doing in the immediate term to provide safe spaces.
"The transition from the existing homelessness response committee to the new homelessness advisory committee is currently underway," council general manager Dan Ryan wrote in the agenda.
"Short term outcomes and resources have been delivered through the provision of portable toilets at locations around the city and the extension of operating hours of the council's owned and operated shower and toilet facilities. A portable shower unit is on order which will be allocated to an appropriate site upon arrival," he said.
Councillor Andrea Dawkins, who indicated she would put her hand up to be the council's member on the advisory committee, said providing dignity to people who were living rough was paramount.
"Obviously it's incredibly important for local government to step into this space, we give a new view," she said.
"It's understandable that to some degree people can become immune, but the provision of dignity is most important."
Four spaces on the committee have been allocated for members of the community, or those who provide lived experience with homelessness, to help drive conversations around how best to respond to the issue.
Cr Gibson said the committee had also had preliminary talks with the West Tamar Council about their involvement in a regional approach. It's understood West Tamar is experiencing it's own issues with homelessness as a growing problem in the region.
Homelessness has become a lot more visible in the past 12 months, with Launceston's "tent city" established near Royal Park. Tents are also popping up in public places such as the Cimitiere Street car park at the Verge Hotel, along with City Park.
Councillor Tim Walker, said he hoped the committee would bring in revolutionary solutions to the problem used around the country and the world.
"It's a changing market, for lack of a better word, in terms of service providers who work in this area, but we still have a growing problem," Cr Walker said.
The motion passed unanimously at the council meeting.
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