Kitchen offer on the table
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
LABOR candidate for Page Janelle Saffin has promised $200,000 for a Lismore homeless shelter if she wins a seat in Federal Parliament.
Politicians and journalists almost outnumbered the needy at Lismore's Soup Kitchen yesterday where Ms Saffin made her official announcement.
"Lismore is a caring community and this is a way we can show we care," she said.
"People should not be sleeping on the streets." Lismore mayor Merv King, who has vowed to have a shelter built in Norco Lane by next winter, welcomed Ms Saffin's commitment.
"It's a great start because we've been looking for government support," Cr King said.
"Council will also contribute to the cost, but $200,000 will be a fantastic help."
The council has applied for a $150,000 grant from the Federal Government to help build the shelter, however, it has not had a reply.
Ms Saffin said opposition to the shelter from some South Lismore residents and business owners did not deter her from going ahead with her funding pledge.
"There's always concern in the community when you build a facility like this," she said.
"Merv King is leading discussions with the community to address their concerns."
Nationals candidate for Page Chris Gulaptis could not match Ms Saffin's pledge yesterday, but said he supported the plans for a shelter.
"It's worthy of receiving funding as far as I'm concerned," he said.
"But I can't say if it will or not." Lismore Soup Kitchen treasurer Mieke Bell said she was very happy with Ms Saffin's announcement and the overall progress of the shelter working party.
"I particularly want to thank Merv King for his leadership and pushing the project forward," she said.