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Park residents and council to discuss homelessness

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on May 17th, 2002.

Townsville's park residents will hold court with the city's mayor today when they meet to discuss public drunkenness and homelessness.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and the Homeless Action Group will take concerns to the mayor, as the State Government considers applicants for a public service position it has created to address the problems.

Regional council chairman Eddie Smallwood says the council and ATSIC have been moving in different directions and the issue needs a combined approach.

"[It will be a combined approach] once we get together and sit down around the table and discuss these issues with the action group," Mr Smallwood said.

"We've got park people representing the action group and we're listening to their stories too."

"Some of the stories are coming from them and them being part of the whole process is really good because we're getting it from the grassroots people."

Townsville mayor Tony Mooney says while there is no easy solution to public drunkenness, it has to be addressed to ensure the safety of the city's families.

"There will be large-scale domestics, attacks on passers-by, violent sex crimes and a whole range of property crimes. This is what I'm concerned about... not about to rewrite history and call it a homelessness issue when clearly it's not."



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