Car­a­vans fall foul of law

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

CAR­A­VANS could pro­vide tem­po­rary liv­ing spa­ces for home­less peo­ple, but the law doesn’t al­low it, Tas­ma­nian may­ors say.

A home­less Tas­ma­nian woman liv­ing in a car­a­van at a pri­vate prop­erty was al­legedly told to move on from her tem­po­rary liv­ing ar­range­ment on a pri­vate Huon Val­ley prop­erty.

Un­der the State Gov­ern­ment Build­ing Act (2016) a per­son, with­out the con­sent of the rel­e­vant gen­eral man­ager, must not in­habit a build­ing that is not built as a dwelling for a cu­mu­la­tive pe­riod that ex­ceeds 30 days.

Huon Val­ley Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Emilio Reale said the coun­cil was made aware of an in­ci­dent where a land­lady called for the evic­tion of a home­less per­son who was liv­ing in a car­a­van at pri­vate prop­erty with the con­sent of the ten­ants.

The Huon Val­ley Coun­cil also has a by-law, en­acted in 2017, pre­vent­ing any­one from sleep­ing in a car­a­van “un­less in a des­ig­nated area and a rel­e­vant fee is paid”.

But Huon Val­ley Mayor Bec En­ders said, while point­ing to the state’s cur­rent home­less­ness cri­sis, that the by-law “will be dis­cussed”.

“Coun­cil is in a po­si­tion that if it doesn’t fol­low a line of reg­u­la­tory path in the law, you’ll get into trou­ble,” she said.

Der­went Val­ley Mayor Ben Shaw said un­used car­a­vans could pro­vide per­fect ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions for home­less Tas­ma­ni­ans.

“Imag­ine how many peo­ple have car­a­vans in their back­yards,” Cr Shaw said.

“I think we should be look­ing at re­lax­ing these laws and by-laws given the cur­rent home­less­ness cri­sis af­fect­ing our state.”

Cr En­ders said she was look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the Ho­bart City Coun­cil at the Home­less­ness Fo­rum in Ho­bart next Thurs­day on de­vel­op­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to tackling the is­sue.

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