Mayor baf­fled over empty 30-bed cen­tre

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

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.

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