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HomeLatest NewsCouncil and police ‘move in to disband’ Dee Why ‘tent city’

Council and police ‘move in to disband’ Dee Why ‘tent city’

Northern Beaches Council and the local police area command have today begun disbanding ‘tent city’ – a series of tent homes or makeshift shelters that have been growing in number in Dee Why lagoon in recent years.

The move follows a violent fracas at one of the sites yesterday afternoon, where in a man set fire to a tent and was seen chasing another with a machete.

A resident sent us this image of the fire, which police say was deliberately lit at Dee Why Lagoon today, 3 October 2022.

Manly Observer reported on this incident via social media at the time and in a subsequent article.

We contacted Council today following residents reports of the site being cleaned up by Council contractors and received the following statement at 1:40pm today, 4 October, attributable to Council’s CEO Ray Brownlee.

“We have been working with relevant homeless support agencies in a continual effort to provide assistance to those living in the dunes at Dee Why for a number of years now,” he said.

Northern Beaches Council staff, with the assistance of police, dismantle all illegal camp sites set up as makeshift homes within Dee Why Lagoon. Photo: Alec Smart/Manly Observer

“Homelessness is a complex issue and we have sought to approach those involved with understanding and compassion.

“A violent incident and fire in the dunes at Dee Why this weekend has left Council, with the assistance of NSW Police, with little other option but to disband the camp.”

“A violent incident and fire in the dunes at Dee Why this weekend has left Council, with the assistance of NSW Police, with little other option but to disband the camp and remove the growing accumulation of rubbish and other materials which are posing an ongoing fire and safety risk.

Northern Beaches Council CEO Ray Brownlee.

“Council is continuing to facilitate assistance to those impacted through welfare and housing agencies and communicate support options available to them.”

 It is understood that a number of individuals at the site had been assisted into alternate accommodation and then not returned to the site.  The current tent city residents, however, had not accepted repeated and sustained offers of support.

Given increasing housing demands and long waiting lists for supported accommodation, rough sleepers are often only provided temporary accommodation, and then linked in with service providers to attempt to address any underlying issues. You can learn about homelessness and homelessness services in this report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 

Council confirmed with us that possessions removed from the site would be secured and available for collection by their owners.

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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