Powerful photo of a homeless man sleeping in the grass metres from one of Australia’s most famous landmarks divides the internet
- Camper captured sleeping in popular Sydney park
- Maintenance staff chose not to disturb ‘happy camper’
A passer-by came across the extraordinary scene where maintenance staff decided not to disturb the lone camper lying on the grass – instead mowing around him.
‘Rather than disturb the happy camper, they mowed around at a safe distance,’ the witness said.
The photo, which was taken in First Fleet Park, sparked furious debate over whether maintenance staff were lazy or courteous.
The photo shows a lone camper sleeping on the partly-mowed lawn at First Fleet Park
Online debate raged as to whether maintenance staff had done the right thing by leaving the camper in peace.
‘Rather than risk an interaction with a homeless person, the minimum wage grounds keeper avoided the situation,’ one person wrote.
Another added: ‘Remember, this is a council worker, nothing to do with being nice and everything to do with not having to deal with him.’
A third believed maintenance staff were lazy and should have woken the camper to complete the job.
‘As someone who mows lawns on the side, I would have mowed this far, stopped my mower and politely asked the person if they would mind moving whilst I mowed the grass under them, I’d only be 15mins and I’d help them move and move back,’ they wrote
Debate raged online as to whether maintenance staff were right to leave the camper in peace
Others praised maintenance staff on the condition of the park as well as their courtesy
‘I’m 99% sure if you asked nicely and gave the person the same respect you want in return they wouldn’t mind moving for 15mins.’
Others praised maintenance workers for not disturbing the camper and the condition of the park.
‘The person mowing the lawns has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours mowing lawns while the ‘upper class’ look down upon them. They would never look down upon anyone, even this happy camper,’ one commented.
A third wrote: ‘How good is that grass looking. Makes me wanna bring my swag down.’
Hundreds of rough sleepers take shelter in the streets of Sydney’s CBD each night (stock image)
Some took aim at the author who uploaded the photo.
‘Sounds like the spin a politician would put on a homeless problem, no no they are happy campers not homeless,’ one person commented.
Another added: ‘1000 per cent agreed. Bigger issue is lost in the ‘compassion’.
Daily Mail Australia contacted City of Sydney Council for comment, which redirected questions to Place Management NSW, which manages the historic precinct.
A City of Sydney street count taken last year shows 225 people sleeping rough on one night, a 17 per cent reduction from 12 months earlier and a 48 per cent crop in five years.