State is told to step up

‘If they had outreach there, I’m pretty sure we could have had a better outcome than they are having now,’ Ms McAtackney said.

Ms McAtackney said the group, which provides day and night intervention for indigenous people frequenting public spaces, is equipped with the knowledge on how to deal with the issues at Wellington Square.

The City was prompted to take action on issues at the park after receiving emails and a petition signed by residents in nearby buildings.

According to a council report, complaints of antisocial behaviour and drinking in Wellington Square have been ongoing since 1910.

Ms McAtackney said Wellington Square would always be a meeting place for Aboriginal people.

‘There is no overnight solution. There needs to be a long-term solution but no one has taken the lead on the issue,’ she said.

‘I don’t think the problem should just be left to the State Government.’

Perth councillor James Limnios said people sleeping at the square were being neglected by the government.

‘Where the community has a problem, the government needs to step up,’ Cr Limnios said. ‘These are human beings and they deserve the right to medical attention, food and shelter.’

Council voted unanimously to advocate to the State Government to review the current Patient Assisted Travel Service (PATS), investigate funding for a night shelter for people who sleep rough in the area, and consider funding a body to assist the Aboriginal people.

Ms McAtackney said Nyoongar Patrol had been in contact with the City and with Perth MLA Eleni Evangel to discuss solutions.

Perth Police Station officer-in-charge Inspector Craig Parkin said police were working with other stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions for the issues in Wellington Square.

Ms Evangel said one lead agency needed to be established to act as the parent body in Wellington Square.