Storms destroy homeless tents

Storms damaged tents that four homeless people were living in.
Storms damaged tents that four homeless people were living in.

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

‘The Department of Infrastructure is wanting to organise cleaning up the bushland, but they haven’t been bothered finding the people homes yet, you’ve gone and organised the second part without organising the first part, the most important part,’ she said.

‘The Department of Housing called last Tuesday saying they’d get a house this Tuesday. Tuesday came and nothing happened, Wednesday came and went and nothing happened, I rung again this morning 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 is 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 or that sort of thing.’

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 sometimes cause more problems than it could solve.

‘My view is that appropriate treatment should be available in the country where they have family and community support,’ she said.

‘This then would not lead to housing issues in Perth because they could stay in their homes in their country.’

Ms Fieldhouse called for quicker action, saying while different departments and politicians are looking at one another, people are still living in atrocious conditions while receiving medical treatment.

‘Now, obviously it’s impacting them in terms of (having) to go and stay at other peoples’ houses, so you’ve got five people living in a one- bedroom apartment, so you’ve got huge issues there.

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