MOVED ON: These two former Johns Landing camp residents have  left .
MOVED ON: These two former Johns Landing camp residents have left . Peter Gardiner

Families landing homes as the council looks to move in

ONE of the largest social interventions attempted in Noosa should by now be complete, with the last of the families relocated from the Johns Landing camp site to Noosa Junction.

According to Noosa Council community services director Alan "Fox" Rogers, a woman and her two children should have moved into town as the private river site prepares to transfer to public ownership.

Ninety people, including 29 children, will have left what was a defacto refuge of cheap stays for families struggling to find permanent accommodation in Noosa.

Only the third-generation Johns family remains and, according to Mr Rogers, they should be moving out by the end of the month to make way for the site environmental rehabilitation and set aside for possible later recreational use.

"By the end of the week, we're very hopeful that the only people left on site will be Ben and Pat Johns and their family," Mr Rogers said last week.

Mr Rogers said the council, which instigated this daunting rehousing program with the help of a "round table" group made up of government departments and community support groups, was "very pleased" with the result.

"Our priority was to find houses and homes for those families and try to do that around the local area so they could maintain their schooling and a social connection," Mr Rogers said.

"Other than one family, we have found homes for these families from Coolum to Tewantin.

"That was always our priority - that the lives of the children were not disrupted too much.

"The other single people they really have scattered far and wide - some people have gone to Ayr, some have gone down to Dalby."

The Johns Landing update comes as the council is about to make a $3000 grant to United Synergies to cover its costs in helping support the local homeless and those in financial hardship.

Mr Rogers said the council had given support to not just this agency but groups such as the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul, which provide emergency assistance.

"We're looking to recompense some of the agencies at the round table for that emergency relief, which has really made it possible," he said.

Mr Rogers said this community collaboration had worked "really well in this instance".

"I think what it shows is as a community we can address some of the significant social issues. It's a matter of first of all identifying them and having the mechanisms and the willpower to do it.

"Johns Landing was the number-one social issue that was identified in our social strategy. We could not have achieved this without the help of the other community groups and the goodwill of individuals as well."

Mr Rogers said this was where community groups such as St Vinnies and the Alpha and Omega Recycling Shop in Noosaville had been fantastic in helping out.

He said the round table tried to "wrap round some support" for these families.

Mr Rogers hoped the site purchase would be finalised by the end of the month.

"There's still a lot of clean up and some contamination issues as well as rehabilitation work," he said.

"It's a great block of land, it's a real asset to the community and for the environment."


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