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Suspended Perth Lord Mayor defends homeless post

Suspended Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has been accused of lacking compassion after she posted photos of homeless men sleeping in the city on social media, but she says she was calling for action.

“Small businesses face enough in current Perth climate without having this on their doorstep. Still there at 11.45am,” Ms Scaffidi tweeted with Sunday with hashtags including plight and BrandWA.

ShelterWA chief executive Michelle Mackenzie said Ms Scaffidi, who didn’t blur the faces of the men, had showed a lack of compassion.

Ms Scaffidi said she had “jolted a reaction” and was trying to highlight a difficult issue.

“I don’t even mind the personal attack and responses because I’m putting a plea out there,” she told 6PR radio on Monday.

“I would probably say I was deliberately provocative and I apologise to anybody that may have been offended.

“I do have respect and great compassion for these people.”

She said more action was needed for the sake of city businesses and homeless people, and suggested reopening Jewell House near Royal Perth Hospital, a 180-bed facility that was closed in 2014 awaiting redevelopment.

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