Mayor baffled over empty 30-bed centre
A 30-BEDROOM, fully functional housing precinct, perfect to house those sleeping on the streets, is being left empty because the State Government won’t bring it up to scratch, a Tasmanian mayor says.
Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw said the council had pitched the idea to the State Government about turning New Norfolk’s Carinya Education Park into a temporary residency for homeless Tasmanians.
Cr Shaw said the facility housed students from Flinders University during a study trip to Tasmania in 2017.
He said it offers a commercial kitchen, 30 rooms, heating and showers.
But he said the Government wasn’t interested in transforming it into emergency accommodation.
“It’s just sad seeing what is the Derwent Valley’s current emergency evacuation centre being left empty during what is actually an emergency [the homeless crisis],” he said.
“We’ve spoken about the issues regarding services in the Derwent Valley, but at the end of the day we’re a 30-minute bus ride from Hobart.”
A State Government spokesman last year said the proposal was passed on to Housing Tasmania for assessment who deemed it unfit for accommodation.
“Unfortunately, Housing Tasmania’s initial assessment is that the property is unsuitable for any short-term response given the significant cost needed to upgrade its facilities,” the spokesman said.