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Locker initiative to help the community

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury 13-year-old Bella Burgemeister checks out the new lockers for the homeless at the Intown Centre.
Camera IconBunbury 13-year-old Bella Burgemeister checks out the new lockers for the homeless at the Intown Centre. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

A 13-year-old Bunbury girl’s dream to provide safe lockers for the city’s homeless community has become a reality.

Bunbury City Council last week installed 18 community lockers at two locations – the Intown Centre and Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell.

They are the first of 24 lockers with the council putting $30,000 to the project and the location of the next set yet to be determined.

The initiative is the brainchild of Bunbury student Bella Burgemeister who started a passionate campaign about two years ago.

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“It feels really good to have them in finally,” Bella said.

“I know that all the homeless that we have around here will be really proud about them, so it feels good.”

And Bella has already caught up with some of her “mates” living on the streets since the lockers have been installed.

“We went and found one of our mates that is homeless and he was really happy about them too,” she said.

“I think they’re (lockers) important because it makes them (homeless) feel like they are respected and they have a little part where they can go and put their stuff.

“I feel like it would be amazing to have them in all sections really.”

The initiative has also received attention from metropolitan councils, with Bella saying Fremantle City and Cottesloe Town councils had been in contact.

The lockers allow people to store and keep their belongings safe and will work on a first-come-first-serve basis with users able to enter their own codes.

Closed-circuit TV cameras have been installed to monitor any antisocial use of the lockers.

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