The City of Bunbury council has approved a new initiative to assist people travelling through the CBD.
At the meeting on Tuesday, December 12, council agreed to set aside $15,000 from the 2017/18 budget for the installation of 12 lockers in the area.
The council also voted to install more lockers, and set aside funding from the 2018/19 budget, should the first 12 be regularly used.
The lockers would be placed in key locations around the CBD, with the purpose of being used by shoppers, travellers, and homeless people.
City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan was enthusiastic about the potential benefits.
“For the people that come temporarily for a visit they will have a locker to place their bulky things into, enjoy Bunbury and then head back to wherever they came from,” he said.
“For the homeless, some of those people carry their worldly possessions around the streets so it’s an opportunity for them, if they are inclined, to put their possessions into the lockers and free themselves up for the day.”
Mr Brennan confirmed the City would explore the recommended locations and install the lockers within the next three months.
He said the initiative was part of Bunbury’s efforts towards helping homeless people in the community.
“The City is happy to be part of the conversation,” he said.
“We won’t take carriage for dealing with homelessness because we don’t have the capacity or the competency to do that, but there are government agencies, not-for-profit groups, religious groups and others working in our community to address that challenge where they can.
“We’ll be at the table involving ourselves in that conversation.”
The initiative was first devised by 12-year-old resident Bella Burgemeister, who has campaigned to assist the city’s population of homeless people.
Bella and City staff conducted research and devised suitable locations for the lockers.
Mr Brennan saluted her involvement in the project.
“I want to say congratulations to Bella Burgemeister for her initiative and her hard work,” he said.
“It says a lot for this community that we have got these great kids – magnificently mentored by their parents, schools and friends – that are shaped by the environments they live in.”