TMR to review claims officers swore at Gympie's homeless
ALLEGATIONS Department of Transport and Main Roads officers swore at homeless people overstaying the 20-hour Six Mile Creek rest area time limit are being reviewed internally.
A Gympie Magistrates Court order issued to one of the residents who said he "could be the next King of England” has also drawn the department's attention.
Gympie homeless support volunteers Lindsey and Jada Burns reported officers using inappropriate language as part of their verbal warnings for campers to vacate the area upon one of "multiple weekly inspections” earlier this month. A TMR spokesperson said the claims would be followed up.
- Gympie's homeless finding solace at Six Mile
- 'Texan CIA taxi driver' part of homeless man's defence
- Housing stress climbs as Gympie's average income stalls
"We take these allegations of how our staff treat people at the rest stop very seriously and will investigate the claims,” the spokesperson said.
"Our officers have also reported being treated inappropriately while undertaking tasks at Six Mile Creek rest area.
"Our role is to ensure all motorists have ongoing access to safe, functional and clean rest area facilities.”
"When rest areas are heavily occupied by campers overstaying, they are unavailable for motorists suffering genuine fatigue, potentially contributing to crashes that could otherwise have been avoided.”
The spokesperson said verbal warnings are always given to overstaying campers, before a "formal Notice to Move On direction” is issued.
"If campers have not vacated by the required date on the Notice to Move On, there is an avenue to start legal proceedings. We make every effort to avoid this.”
Mrs Burns said while she "disagreed” with TMR's conduct, she and her husband would attempt to "work with them” to resolve the issue.
TMR said it was "in contact with local police” about the Gympie Magistrates Court order issued to Daniel Paul Seymour, a member of the homeless community occupying the campgrounds.
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair allowed Mr Seymour, 71, to call the Rest Area home as a bail condition while his legal matters were dealt with.