VOLUNTEER Keith Eveson has been promoting organ donation for more than eight years but was kicked out of Perth train station under the City of Perth’s ostensible anti-begging policy.
Early in May Mr Eveson was told by two rangers that despite years of working in the same spot, and having a special permit from the City, he was banned.
“They said ‘if we do not allow beggars or homeless, how can we allow you?’,” Mr Eveson told the Guardian Express.
On May 30, he met with two City officials who gave him a “temporary reprieve” but would have to stay at the far end of the Perth railway concourse; outside Myer.
Mr Eveson hands out organ donor nomination forms.
“I am almost 80 years old – in July actually. I am a volunteer, completely self-funded, used to pay all my own travel expenses, buy all my own signs, I even invested over $3,000 of my own money on transport, an electric bike to help me carry all the leaflets.
“I started eight plus years ago, three days each week. I catch the 5.15am train, coming home around midday, on Saturdays, from 8.30 until whenever,” he said.
“I’ve not accosted anyone, not asked for money or anything else, never ever left any litter.
“I thought that offering organ donor forms to anyone who wants them was doing a public service.
“It doesn’t cost anyone anything, so why am I being penalised?”
Mr Eveson added that the vast majority of homeless people he had met during his many years volunteering in the city were “genuinely down on their luck”.
A City of Perth spokesperson told the Guardian Express that the City “respects and values charitable purposes”, and it is currently investigating designated areas for regular collectors.
“As part of a broader policy review, the City is working with key charity organisations to develop a policy for charitable collection and busking, in order to balance the needs of all stakeholders,” they said.