From the Newsroom

Several makeshift tents have been set in the Truck Drivers Memorial Park in South Grafton. Image: Emma Pritchard

Council address makeshift campers amidst community concern

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) have released a statement amidst growing concern from the public regarding temporary camping and occupancy of the Truck Drivers Memorial Park in South Grafton after a number of makeshift tents have been established in the area in recent weeks.

In their statement, council revealed they are working with a range of relevant government agencies and non-government agencies in an effort to ensure an effective and sensitive resolution regarding the welfare of the individuals currently staying in the park is achieved.

Council also acknowledged the Clarence Valley has one of the higher growth rates of homelessness in Northern NSW and stated the present situation in South Grafton is symptomatic of the effects of people being displaced from housing through a range of factors including economic pressures and disaster events.

In their statement, council announced rangers are monitoring and documenting the use of the park and will be issuing move-on advice to persons who are using the location as a convenient overnight stopover/camping space, while organising site visits and liaising with relevant welfare agencies to identify people requiring referral to housing and other support services in an effort to reduce unauthorised occupancy.

Council also revealed they are investigating a range of opportunities for other ways in which they can assist homeless persons in need of assistance and are seeking support from the owners of the adjacent decommissioned service station to properly secure the site to prevent unauthorised access and use.

To assist with hygiene, the CVC open spaces team are continuing to mow the grass and collect rubbish from the park.

Members of the public who have concerns regarding any suspicious or anti-social behaviour at the Truck Drivers Memorial Park in South Grafton are encouraged to contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.