While police has pledged to shift homeless people living outside Flinders Street Station, the group warns authorities of relocating to Melbourne Park. It is the place where Australian Open tennis tournament is taking place. The group claims to relocate in case police compels them to leave the area.
The people living and sleeping outside Flinders Street Station belonged to different categories. Some of them are there in search of a job and livelihood while few of them feel the place is safe for homeless people to be in. One of the homeless persons Andrey Ruski, 21, came forward and identified himself while saying that the group would relocate “where they are playing the tennis”. Ruski arrived to Melbourne eight months ago from Adelaide. He was searching for a job and hence had to stay on streets until he had some other option.
Threat from Homeless Group Comes After Ashton’s Pledge
The threat from Flinders Street Station slum people has come after chief commissioner Graham Ashton claimed that the protest by the homeless group was intentional. He said that the group was doing so only to harass tourists who are on their way to Melbourne’s Australian Open. “They’re not homeless, these are people that are choosing to camp in the city.” Ashton told reporters on Thursday. “There’s more people around for them to shake down for money.”
Ashton said that he would deploy more officers to take those people into custody. Meanwhile, there are reports that Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle is prepared to propose a new bylaw that aims at outlawing seeping of homeless groups on the streets across the city. Ashton described the homeless people as beggars.
Some of the people protesting there said that they sleep there because they find the Flinders Street Station safe. “We’re not begging and we’re not hurting anyone. What we need is somewhere decent to live — not to be victimized,” one of the group members, Tracy, said as quoted by News.com.au.