Aussie Council Removing Arm Rests From Benches To Let Homeless People Sleep Comfortably
An Australian council has backflipped on a decision to install armrests on benches outside a public library.
Moreland Council in Melbourne spent a whopping $50,000 on a project to make sure the benches outside the library and the nearby Victoria Mall complied with disability laws.
However, after a bit of thought, they've decided to rip them off so that homeless people can sleep a bit easier.
Moreland Mayor Natalie Abboud told the Daily Mail: "Council has resolved to remove three of the five armrests from the benches outside of Coburg Library to ensure the Victoria Mall public space is welcoming and inclusive of all users.
"This will maintain a number of seats that are compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act."
The Council was under particular pressure from Socialist councillor Sue Bolton, who moved a motion to ditch the armrests. The motion was approved unanimously after she garnered support from Greens, Labor and independents.
She told radio station 3AW: "The armrests have actually made it difficult for anyone who is caught short at night and might need to stretch out and have a sleep.
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"It is highly problematic to have any sort of designer street furniture which deters people from public spaces."
The issue about public spaces being used by homeless people is a contentious one and is hotly debated around the world.
Some people reckon councils should do what's necessary to make sure public places aren't occupied by those sleeping rough and there are others on the flip side who say installing anti-homeless measures like armrests are inhumane.
Armrests were installed on a bench in Bournemouth, UK, which drew the ire of rapper Professor Green.
Green uploaded a video to Instagram saying: "Bournemouth, we hope we've helped you realise the full potential of your benches at a cost of £18.50, they can become something that provides shelter for people who don't otherwise have it.
"Why don't you think of solutions for homelessness instead of solutions for pushing them further out and hiding the problem, you arseholes."
A spokesperson for the council told the BBC: "We're disappointed that musician Professor Green declined to meet our Housing Services Team whilst on his visit to Bournemouth today.
"We would have welcomed the opportunity to speak to him about the multi-agency work that goes on to prevent homelessness, and the support we provide to rough sleepers."
Professor Green released another video saying he had no obligation to meet with the council.
Featured Image Credit: PA