KEEN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Paul Hefferan at the old Kookaburra Resort in Pialba which he says could be turned into housing for the homeless.
KEEN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Paul Hefferan at the old Kookaburra Resort in Pialba which he says could be turned into housing for the homeless. Alistair Brightman

LETTER: Cost of turning hostel into homeless refuge worth it

I NOTE a spokesman for the Department of Public Works and Housing is reported as saying that the premises in question had been the subject of a preliminary inspection for a shelter for domestic violence.

I would hasten to add that the department has not been directly involved in any inspection of the building.

The department does not seem to have any requests for the use of this building.

Perhaps there are no local needs for a building that is licensed, fire compliant with 20 bedrooms and 65 beds.

I refer to the reported comments of Mr Clunn's from Maryborough's Community Housing Ltd.

He refers to the high cost associated with operating a shelter, especially for a not-for-profit organisation.

This is appreciated.

The Chronicle has recently highlighted the homeless situation in the region.

The area may be under-resourced.

I refer to Mr Clunn's comments the building would need to be "extensively checked for fire hazards" very true, but investigation would confirm that the building is checked regularly and is compliant with the regulation introduced after the Childers fire.

As far as building modification is concerned, this may be more cost effective than providing new purpose built premises and may be more community acceptable than leaving the homeless on the street.

I refer to Mr Clunn's comments regarding a functional kitchen.

The kitchen was a licenced commercial kitchen up until the death of the previous owner.

The kitchen serviced the onsite licensed restaurant.

Once again I believe modifications could be made.

I refer to the comment "it is not suitable for people with mobility challenges".

There is a wheelchair ramp into the building but some door widening would be advantageous.

The question remains, are we prepared to accept homelessness as part of our community?

Secondly, do our elected representatives consider the matter important enough to warrant a fast track solutions?

PAUL HEFFERAN

Hervey Bay



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