State of units a concern

Rubbish is strewn in the vandalised vacant units.
Rubbish is strewn in the vandalised vacant units.

The Department of Housing’s Brathwaite Road unit block was deemed unliveable after a fire on the site in November, leaving it vacant for about eight months.

Local resident Anne-Marie Ryan-Reed said since then the units had attracted anti-social behaviour with squatters and trespassers vandalising the units.

‘It’s a dangerous site and kids are playing in there and smashing windows and glass. There was a squatter there too,’ she said.

‘Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly found foil which confirmed there had been drug use in there.

‘Someone is going to hurt themselves; it’s too dangerous and the units need to be demolished or there needs to be 24/7 security.

‘I don’t understand why it has been left for eight months when it’s a reasonable sizeable land and we’ve got people screaming for housing and nothing’s been done.’

The Housing Department’s general manager of service delivery, Steve Parry, said Wilson Security was contracted to visit the site 16 times every half an hour each day until demolition expected in August.

‘The approvals process required in the demolition of the building has been lengthy but out of the control of the Department of Housing,’ he said.

‘While a number of different options have been considered for the site following the demolition of the building, no redevelopment solution has been determined at this time.’

Mr Kelly said people wanted a permanent security guard because mobile patrols drive past, have a quick look, and keep going, which didn’t help.

‘If someone is in there to cause trouble, a mobile patrol driving past is of no use,’ he said.

‘The least they can do is put a security guard on site permanently then people would be able to sleep safely at night knowing that there’s nothing going on there.’