CBD locker proposal given the nod

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

A 12-year-old Bunbury girl has expressed excitement over her initiative for lockers for the homeless getting the tick of approval.

Bella Burgemeister has been campaigning for lockers in the CBD, with her research including talking to the homeless community and engaging with organisations behind similar concepts around the world.

Bunbury City Council on Tuesday night allocated $15,000 to install a dozen lockers in two separate locations in the city.

Bella told the South Western Times she was proud the initiative had gained support and she could not wait for the lockers to be installed.

“It feels really good, I know the homeless will be really happy about it as well,” Bella said.

The idea came to Bella when she tagged along with Bunbury photographer Kate Heaslip to capture images for her No Fixed Address exhibition at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.

“We went and talked to the homeless and asked them what they wanted and they said ‘oh we need somewhere to put our stuff’,” Bella said.

“So I got researching and contacted people from all over the world and found out what worked and what didn’t work.”

Bella said talking to the city’s homeless community was an eye-opener.

“It was definitely because I’ve never really seen that side of Bunbury before, they were all really nice though,” she said.

Bella has also raised $3000 for the project and said she was grateful and overwhelmed by the support.

While Bella’s initiative focuses on the homeless, the council has labelled them “community lockers” which could also be used by shoppers and youth.

If successful, the council will also consider spending another $15,000 in next year’s budget for an additional 12 lockers in the CBD.

The location of the lockers is yet to be determined, but Bunbury City and Regional Library, Bunbury Intown Centre, the skatepark and Bunbury Visitors Centre have all been earmarked.

It is expected the lockers will be installed before May next year.

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