Homeless group in limbo

Aboriginal liaison officer Lisa Fieldhouse said she was angry the Department of Infrastructure made plans to dismantle the camp while not clearly outlining where the group would be housed.

‘The Department wants to organise cleaning up the bushland, but they haven’t bothered finding the people homes yet,’ she said.

‘The Department of Housing called last Tuesday saying they’d get a house this Tuesday, but nothing happened, Wednesday came and went and nothing, and no one is taking my call,’ she said.

The Department of Infrastructure did not respond to our questions by deadline yesterday.

Ms Fieldhouse said the one difficult issue regarding housing was the group did not want to be separated, something which was making finding appropriate accommodation difficult.

‘The only thing is they’re not wanting to be separated, they want to stay together with their partners, for example they don’t want to be sent to a men’s only hostel.’

Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman said the State Government needed to look at whether to bring people down from the State’s north in the first place, something she said could cause more problems than it solved.

‘Appropriate treatment should be available in the country where they have family and community support,’ she said. ‘This would not lead to housing issues in Perth because they could stay in their homes.’

Ms Fieldhouse called for faster action, saying while different departments and politicians deliberated, people were living in atrocious conditions while receiving medical treatment.

‘Now, obviously its impacting them in terms of that they have to go and stay at other people’s houses, so you’ve got five people living in a one-bedroom apartment, so you’ve got huge issues there,’ she said.

‘I’ve had (some of them) calling me last night asking what’s going on; they need some stability.’