5 June 2019

Page 7


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Catholic call for homeless help MEMBERS of Catholic parishes on the Mornington Peninsula have been called on to help come up with a plan to ease the plight of the homeless in their areas. Catholic Social Services Victoria has invited parish representatives to attend a forum: Homelessness – What can Parishes Do? this Saturday (8 June), at the Cardinal Knox Centre in the city. The invitation has been sent to more than 200 parishes in the archdiocese urging delegates to discuss the Australian bishops’ 2018-19 social justice statement A Place to Call Home – Making a Home for Everyone in Our Land. The latest available figures show that between 2011 and 2016 the number of homeless people in Frankston jumped 17 per cent and 10 per cent on the peninsula (“Plight of hidden homeless” The News 3/4/18). The bishops said statistics from the 2016 census showed there are 116,427 people in Australia who are homeless – up from 102,439 in 2011.

“That number includes not only people who are on the streets or sleeping rough, but those who are couch surfing, living in boarding houses or emergency accommodation, or staying in severely overcrowded dwellings,” the bishops said. “The people we see on the streets are just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, homelessness is a spectrum – there is no clear line that differentiates the homeless from those in housing. “The journey there may be quick or it may be gradual.” The bishops said that in the face of entrenched homelessness in such a prosperous nation, it was time for Australia to reassert the true value of housing as a human right that was fundamental to individual and family wellbeing. “All are our neighbours – all are owed this right,” they said. Delegates to the forum will discuss the compelling case for action on behalf of the homeless put forward by the bishops. Barry Morris

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Let’s take a walk: Mornington Peninsula Shire Disability Advisory Committee chair Karen Fankhauser, sports and recreation executive officer David Strickland, deputy mayor Cr Rosie Clarke, YMCA Camp Manyung manager Jim Boyle, Disabled Surfers Association president John Bowers, and YMCA general manager Maree Feutrill, at the opening. Pictures: Supplied

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kids, newly arrived refugees and those with disabilities can use the new footpath to get down to the beach without fear,” he said. “Combined with the redeveloped toilet facilities this will provide greater beach access and a better experience for all people regardless of age or ability.” The mayor Cr David Gill said the project, under the shire’s footpath construction strategy, was part of the shire’s commitment to providing safe access paths to key locations on the peninsula.


NEW Sunnyside Road footpath and toilet facilities at Mt Eliza will allow easier beach access with better facilities for visitors from this week. YMCA Camp Manyung, along with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, TAC and Sport and Recreation Victoria, will open the safe, all-weather path and upgraded toilet, Thursday 30 May. The developments were described by the YMCA as the “result of years of tireless efforts from locals, community groups and support from partnerships, [with] the $370,000 raised for the works … creating a safer, more inclusive beach and camping experience for locals and visitors alike”. The footpath runs from Camp Manyung to beach carpark, meaning school children, community groups, including those with limited mobility or with disabilities staying at Camp Manyung, could only get to the beach using the “busy and dangerous” Sunnyside Road. This was said to “deeply concern” the YMCA and local groups, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Group. Camp manager Jim Boyle said the new road and toilet were a “huge positive for safety, accessibility and inclusion for the community”. “Now, our most vulnerable groups, including

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4 June 2019