Rough Sleepers at Wentworth Park

The City works with rough sleepers to connect them with the appropriate services and help them to access accommodation.

The City also needs to encourage responsible behaviour by all people in our public spaces while ensuring that disadvantaged people are not discriminated against and are treated with compassion and respect.

Following complaints last year about deliberately lit fires and unauthorised camping at Wentworth Park, the City issued warnings to a group of rough sleepers about keeping the area tidy. The City is not 'moving people on' and has no plans to do so.

The City worked with the rough sleepers to clean up the area and remove some of the items.

Recently, more items have built up in the area, including over 20 tents, deck chairs, tables, a barbecue and a fridge. There are also reports some rough sleepers are lighting fires and cooking inside the tents.

City staff, along with specialist homeless-service workers, met with the rough sleepers to negotiate a solution to the issue and the fire risk, with the outcome being that each person would limit their belongings to bedding and two bags.

The City has committed $4.2 million over the next three years to help fund outreach services, support for young people, and Connect 100, which will provide housing for people experiencing homelessness in the inner city.

The City has a dedicated homelessness unit - the only council in NSW to do so. It funds a number of services and outreach programs, including Way2Home, which has housed over 200 people since 2010.

The City supports the NSW Government's Protocol for People in Public Places, which promotes the rights of people who are experiencing homelessness to access public spaces without the risk of discrimination.

More affordable housing in Sydney is one of the things I promoted heavily as the local member when I was in parliament. It's something I have continued to do as Lord Mayor.