Residents help resolve Big Issue

Peter Hodge. 151988_01


THE Big Issue seller Peter Hodge returned to The Terrace this month, thanks to a campaign by Ocean Grove residents.
Pete said locals spoke up for him after The Big Issue suspended him six weeks ago.
“I’m only here, thanks to some really generous people in Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads, who called the head office on my behalf,” he said.
Pete had “run-in” with a representative of The Big Issue earlier this year, which led to his suspension.
“I said some words that I’ve apologised for, but they weren’t very nice,” he said.
Pete met with The Big Issue head office recently, with some help from local lawyer Michael Vine, and was allowed to continue selling copies.
“He’s sort of a feature in Ocean Grove,” Michael said.
“It would be a great pity if we didn’t get this sorted out.”
Locals recognised Pete’s iconic scooter at Coles on 23 March, when he returned to selling just in time for Easter.
Many greeted him, stopping to say “G’day Pete!” or asking “how have you been?” as they walked by.
However, Pete still has to be on his best behaviour – as he’s on a three-month probation.
“I can’t give out lollies and Schmakos anymore which hurts,” he said.
“The kids and the dogs love them.”
A spokesperson from The Big Issue said they would continue to help Pete sell within the guidelines.
“Peter has been invited by The Big Issue to return to selling because we believe in giving people opportunities to change their lives,” she said.