Minutes of the Homelessness Taskforce Shoalhaven



Meeting Date:     Monday, 27 November 2017

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   4.00pm



The following members were present:


Clr Amanda Findley - Chairperson

Clr Joanna Gash

Clr Patricia White

Clr Nina Cheyne

Clr Annette Alldrick

Clr John Levett

Clr Mark Kitchener

Rev Matthew Wilson – Uniting Church

Mr Peter Dover – SALT Ministries

Ms Patricia David – Unions Shoalhaven

Ms Ashleigh Hudson – Mobile Response Coordinator

Ms Lesley Labka – SAHSSI

Mr Max Zalakos – Nowra Baptist Church

Ms Sharlene Naismith – Legal Aid

Ms Donna Brotherson – Illawarra Forum

Mr Adam Collison – Southern Cross Community Housing

Ms Kelly Green – FACS

Ms Penni Wildi – Community Member/Waminda

Ms Wendi Hobbs - SSPAN

Ms Wendy Woodward – Community/Nowra Show Society


Others present:


Gordon Clarke – Strategic Planning Manager

Alan Blackshaw – Coordinator Community Development

Garon Irwin – Unit Manager Building and Compliance

Jessica Clifford – ABC News

Cathy Musico - Wellways

Lesly Lane

Carmen Fox

Joy Lucke






Apologies / Leave of Absence


Apologies were received from Shane Meijer (FACS) and Julie Bugden



HT17.6       Additional item - Verbal Update


Clr Findley advised the Committee that each member provide a verbal update. The following comments were made:


·         Kelly Green – FACS

o   In October 2017 the tenders were announced

o   Southern Cross Housing was the successful tenderer

o   The transition time to transfer the properties to Southern Cross Housing will be October to December 2018

·         Adam Collison – SCCH

o   Looking into safe shelter options and a proposal to use a property, will update at the next meeting on the progress

·         Lesly Labka - SAHSSI

o   There are two temporary accommodation services in town and it has been full for 3 years (womens refuge).

o   The property that SCCH own/manage has some vacancies

o   The people coming into this facility, come in under a temporary arrangement

·         Peter Dover - SALT

o   Safe shelter wrapped up in September 2017

o   We need to be looking for a permanent shelter and we are in discussions with a local Church, if successful want to get a demountable (temporary building) amenities block on the land.

o   We are trying to find a place they can go

o   This facility will be volunteer run if it gets approved (possibly next 3 weeks), there could be up to 20 people staying there

o   We have up to 250 volunteers that want to help in some way.

·         Patricia David – Unions Shoalhaven

o   Provided a verbal update on Homelessness Statistics which will be distributed with the minutes (Attached)

o   A student from Wollongong University conducted research and forwarded her findings. This document will also be available upon request.

·         Rev Matthew Wilson – Uniting Church

o   After the safe shelter shut down (in day 8) we haven’t had anyone living onsite

o   We are investigating to broaden the possibilities and looking at temporary housing/affordable housing with a redevelopment of their property. This is not a short term fix and the lead time is approximately 2-5 years.

·         Clr Findley

o   Council have perused land options with the RMS

o   Also had discussions with the RMS Minister Melinda Pavey. Minister Pavey wasn’t enthusiastic with the site which is approximately 5000sqm

o   Council is continuing with investigating affordable housing projects, and will be reported at some time back to Council.

o   Have had meetings with Church leaders regarding land at Sussex Inlet for social or affordable housing

o   Have had discussions with Correction Services and have advised them that it is not ok for them to release people into the community without forward housing arrangements

o   The Ongoing Actions Table will form part of a report to every meeting as part of the Agenda. (Attached)

·         Alan Blackshaw –

o   Will update the committee as part of the reports in the Agenda.

·         Gordon Clarke

o   Council have looked at 2 projects over a long term

o   The Draft Shoalhaven Affordable Housing Strategy has been on exhibition and we are currently preparing the submissions report to Council, to adopt the strategy.

o   Will also be suggesting that Council moves forward with properties in Coomea Street, Bomaderry.

o   Council held a workshop with the Property Council of Australia Branch back in October, with the view to looking at a hypothetical design to get the property to the market or an expression of interest for community housing providers.

o   Tiny Homes developments – have been pushed further up the line, this is the first time they have been approached

o   Council is looking at using the VIC Roads model and a research paper came out last month and waiting to hear back.

o   We have written to Fabcot who own a lot of vacant sites along North Street. No response to date.

o   The site at Worrigee street, has a contamination issue. We don’t believe its significant enough to not look at the land for Tiny Homes, however the site would need to be concrete with no access to soil.

·         Wendi Hobbs

o   The following links may be of interest to services:

o   Mental Health and Homelessness for young people:


o   Link2home:


o   Homelessness Australia Stats





Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (By Consent)


That the Minutes of the Homelessness Taskforce Shoalhaven held on Tuesday 29 August 2017 be confirmed.





Declarations of Interest







HT17.3       Rotary Park, South Nowra

HPERM Ref: D17/355108

Alan Blackshaw addressed the Committee and made the following comments:

·         This site is not designed to be a camping area,

·         Council had to follow the regulations and ask the people to move on.

·         We are not aware where people go when they get moved on.

·         Council is trying to be as compassionate as possible

·         All staying at Rotary Park had been visited by services and had contact with FACS. All were offered housing. At least one person declined because he didn’t want to pay rent.

·         Staff negotiate with the people and service providers.

·         The Showground is a short term option for travellers to stay overnight for a fee.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Taskforce accept the update report re Homeless Campers at Rotary Park South Nowra for information


RESOLVED (By Consent)

That the Taskforce accept the update report re Homeless Campers at Rotary Park South Nowra for information




HT17.4       Homelessness Policy

HPERM Ref: D17/355431

Alan Blackshaw addressed the Committee and made the following comments:

·         Council have been operating without a written policy.

·         This has been drafted for Council to form a Policy position.

·         Council has reserched other Councils that had Homeless Policies and most were urban areas. Shoalhaven is a regional area struggleing to address the Homelessness issue.

·         This Policy gives Council enough to operate in homelessness and over a period of time work on a strategy to develop a policy for the future.

Note – remove part 6 in policy.


Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)


1.    Council endorses the Draft Homelessness Policy

2.    Place the Draft Homelessness Policy on public exhibition for a period of 28 days

3.    If no further submissions are the reveived the policy be adopted and if submissions are received a further report be presented to Council after the public exhibition of the Draft Homelessness Policy


Recommendation (By Consent)


1.      Council endorse the Draft Homelessness Policy with the following amendment:

a.      Remove part 6

2.      Place the Draft Homelessness Policy on public exhibition for a period of 28 days

3.      If no further submissions are the reveived the policy be adopted and if submissions are received a further report be presented to Council after the public exhibition of the Draft Homelessness Policy





General Business


HT17.5       Frankston Council - Homelessness in Australia

HPERM Ref: D17/387514

Alan Blackshaw tabled a letter at the meeting from Frankston Council, addressed the Committee and made the following comments:

·         Council received a letter from Frankston Council which was tabled at the meeting

·         The letter was seeking Council’s support to lobby the Government and advocate for more funding to address Homelessness.


Recommendation (By Consent)

That Council write to the State Government and Federal Governments to lobby for more funding to address Homelessness.




HT17.7       Additional Item - Orange Sky Laundry


Clr Alldrick addressed the Committee and made the following comments:

·         Attended a Conference recently, where a presentation was made from Orange Sky Laundry

·         It’s a business that started in Brisbane, operates in various locations and now services Wollongong

·         They have just started vans with showers.

·         This is a free service to use and funded by donations and run by volunteers. 

·         The Website is interesting and recommend that people look at it.


It was noted that this service was trialled in Nowra.



HT17.8       Additional Item - Couch Surfing Limbo - WEstjustice Document


Alan Blackshaw advised that a recent document has been produced by WEstjustice (August 2017) with interesting information contained in it.


The Document can be viewed on the WEstjustice website http://www.westjustice.org.au/




HT17.9       Additional Item - Establish Working Group - Homelessness


Peter Dover addressed the meeting and suggested that the Committee form a Working Group to progress the items on the Ongoing Actions Table and will report back to the Committee meetings.



RESOLVED (By Consent)


1.      The Homelessness Taskforce Shoalhaven form a Working Group consisting of the following members:

a.      Peter Dover

b.      Southern Cross Community Housing Representative

c.      Patricia David

d.      Rev Matthew Wilson

e.      Kathy Musico

f.       Max Zalakos

g.      John Steel

h.      And others to be co-opted as required

2.      The purpose of the Working Group is to discuss and make progress in relation to the items in the Ongoing Actions Table.

3.      FACS agreed to report the Homelessness statistics to the meetings of the Homelessness Taskforce each quarter.









There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 5.08pm.




Clr Findley