ADJOURNMENT - St Kilda Public Housing Safety (5.3.2019)
Written on the 5 March 2019
St Kilda Public Housing Safety
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
The issue around crime in these areas has been raised recently in the media, and I have had a number of people contact me directly about their concerns. The Friends of St Kilda have on a number of occasions written to the previous minister and their local member, Martin Foley, requesting assistance.
In the last Parliament my colleague Mr O'Donohue and former colleague Ms Fitzherbert called on the government to address the safety issues and safety needs of the community. I too called on the government to address the safety needs of public housing tenants across Victoria, as they, like every other Victorian, deserve to feel safe in their own homes.
I met with many public housing tenants as the shadow minister, and on many, many occasions stories of drug dealing and of criminal activity which were going on in and around public housing facilities were highlighted to me and I called on the minister to do something. These tenants also made complaints to the minister, to his local electorate office and to the department, but to no avail.
The crimes are not diminishing, and the tenants are frustrated with the lack of attention the government is giving to their concerns. We have seen some shocking crimes in public housing in recent months. There was the murder of Nicola Stephenson in Park Tower, South Melbourne, in December, and I am told that just in the last couple of weeks an elderly man in St Kilda was bashed by an ice-fuelled addict. He had his leg broken and remains in hospital, and he is too frightened to make a complaint for fear of repercussions. This is simply not good enough, and these crimes are occurring on a regular basis in the minister's own electorate.
Reports of these ongoing bashings, assaults, drug use and drug dealing, and drug houses within public housing are all too common. Other reports by cafe owners in the areas are saying there was, and I quote, 'a constant influx of drug-affected people and drug dealings' going on around the area I mentioned. This demonstrates the failure of the government to address the ongoing drug crisis in this state and the ongoing crime and related violent behaviour in St Kilda.
The action I seek is for the minister to outline what standards apply for public and social housing tenants so that they, along with other members of the community, can live free from ongoing violent crime and criminal behaviour in and around their homes.