Response to homeless person's property disposal

Published on 28 August 2019


The City of Launceston would like to address media reports that imply the Council knowingly disposed of a homeless person's possessions from outside a public building.

In recent days the City of Launceston received a report of a black plastic garbage bag left outside a Launceston public building.

Council workers responded to that request and found a tied garbage bag, cloth and cardboard. The items were not identified as personal property, and the area did not appear to be a place where someone had been sleeping rough. It appeared the items were rubbish, and the Council disposed of them accordingly.

Council crews had no reason to believe the items were anything other than litter.

The Council has since received a complaint that the items belonged to a person struggling with homelessness.

This was an unfortunate outcome, for which the Council sincerely apologises.

The City of Launceston would never knowingly dispose of anyone's private property.

Homelessness is a complex social issue that has many causal factors and is not easy to solve. It's a challenge facing communities around the country, and Launceston is no exception.

The Council has followed up with relevant service providers both yesterday and today and has confirmed the person has been provided with the necessary care and assistance they require.

Media reports suggesting that the Council knowingly disposed of a homeless person's private property are false.