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Collapse Issue 474 - 22 Jul 2019Issue 474 - 22 Jul 2019
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
St Luke's unveils new stained glass windows
Council upgrades oval cafe
Cane toad discovered at Woy Woy
Thermal imaging camera for local fire brigade
Bushcare group seeks more volunteers
Homeless people moved from Austin Butler oval
Fate of funding to be decided by popular vote
Avenue of trees prevented by 'infrastructure'
Archaic system results in pollution, says ACF branch
Residents welcome withdrawal of six-storey application
Group home approved to disability support
Manufactured home proposal for IOOF homes site
Three-storey units to include affordable housing
Celebrating 96 years Harry Potter style
Short-term accommodation proposal
New bar approved for Everglades
Pearl Beach hall may get a facelift
Umina workshop for skate strategy
Geoff Melville dies aged 77
Bowlers name scoreboard after John Greenway
Rotary celebrates birthday of long-serving member
Car crashes into Umina shopfront
Lunch and show for Memorial Day
New Rotary club starts on the Peninsula
A course for women by women
Support program for domestic violence survivors
Playground opens at Patonga
Umina CWA tries peach blossom cake
Free screening of Sonic Sea documentary
Umina Surf Club gets an upgrade
Bush walkers rescued from Little Wobby
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Under-30s cannot continue to live where they grew up
Who holds Council accountable for its noise pollution?
Website provides planning alerts
Action is needed on eyesore sites
TV guide surprise
Will quarterly bills disguise water price rises?
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Fresh fruit and fitness offered for team well-being
Killy Cares installs defibrillators
Young employee of the year
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Three more artists announced for art show
Double feature at folk club concert
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Student leaders seek compost bin
Basketball knockout competition
Pretty Beach wins public speaking competition
A step back in time
New litter of piglets
Cultural activities for Naidoc Week
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Everglades duo wins Waterlily Pairs
Peninsula Thunder takes under-11s floorball title
Soccer player joins elite competition
Kingfisher Carnival comes to an end
Pirates place 10th in country champs
Shahida takes out Women's Open in calisthenics
Peninsula Swans raise $1000 with pink socks
Neighbour versus neighbour in soccer round
Umina retains pool rescue championship title
Woy Woy beaten 67 to nil

Homeless people moved from Austin Butler oval

The group of homeless people been moved from the grounds of Austin Butler Oval at Woy Woy by Central Coast Council rangers and Brisbane Water Police on July 8.

It is understood they were offered emergency accommodation.

The group had formed a tent community on the site since the start of the year.

During this time, the oval's primary users Woy Woy Football Club has been negotiating with Central Coast Council about their presence.

According to Club Committee member Mr Matt Brien, the group's presence had created a health and safety issue for users of the oval.

He said the club had lost significant numbers of junior members as a result.

"It is disgraceful that Council allowed this to go on for seven months," Mr Brien said.

"This would never be allowed to happen at The Haven Oval in Terrigal or Adcock Park but, because this is Woy Woy, Council just turned a blind eye," Mr Brien said.

Mr Brien said the Committee was thankful that action had finally been taken but expressed his disappointment that it took threats of going to the media to seemingly spark Council into action.

"Our membership is shot. Our reputations tarnished, and we don't know what our junior numbers will be like next year, so we definitely haven't ruled out asking for changes to our lease or for a reduction in the cost owing," Mr Brien said.

"We want assurance from Council that something like this will never be allowed to happen again," he said.

"We want Council to take responsibility for their part in this mess and we want them to be accountable.

"They went into this not wanting to be the bad guy.

"They didn't want to be seen as the Council kicking out the homeless, but the bottom line is this just wasn't safe and had something happened the blood would have been on Council's hands," Mr Brien said.

Mr Brien said during the seven months the group was at the oval the Committee had approached Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks, Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch and Cr Chris Holstein for assistance.

Only Ms Wicks responded to Peninsula News' request for comment.

She confirmed she had been approached by the club committee regarding the group but said in both instances the committee was informed that this was a matter for Council.

Ms Wicks said she did raise the issue with council staff and advocate on behalf of the community.

Ms Wicks said the issue of homelessness on the Central Coast was very serious and that she was committed to continuing to work to achieve positive outcomes for the community.

"The issue of homelessness is an important and complex one, particularly here on the Central Coast.

"Housing and access to safe accommodation is fundamental to the welfare of all Australians.

"While the responsibility for delivery of services falls under the NSW Government's responsibility this really is an issue that all levels of government need to work together on, alongside the community and I am committed to continuing to do so," Ms Wicks said.

Coast Shelter chief executive Ms Rachel Willis confirmed the complexity of the situation.

Ms Willis said Coast Shelter was aware of the individuals at the oval and said that staff from the organisation's Coimba Men's Refuge had visited them with Council Rangers on two occasions to provide information about relevant services prior to their expulsion from the site.

Ms Willis said Coast Shelter has assisted rough sleepers and will continue to help them where possible, but assertive outreach like this was not something Coast Shelter were funded to provide.

"Providing interventions to rough sleepers is an extremely complex task.

"Coast Shelter provides assistance where possible, however successful outcomes depend on the coordinated effort from various services and departments who can provide intensive wrap around supports," Ms Willis said. SOURCE: Interviews (Dilon Luke), 4 Jul and 17 Jul 2019 Matt Brien, Woy Woy Football Club Media statement, 17 Jul 2019 Rachel Willis, Coast Shelter Media statement, 18 Jul 2019 Rebecca Johnstone, Office of Lucy Wicks MP

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