INTRO TO SITUATION IN FREMANTLE
While the State Government posts a surplus as royalties flow in from the mining giants, rental costs have been driven up rapidly to the point where they are out of the reach of average Western Australians. This lack of affordable housing is forcing many more people into homelessness.
The lack of investment in mental health services has also exacerbated the problem of homelessness as many vulnerable people simply cannot access the health services they need. Throw into this mix drugs and alcohol addiction and the issue of homelessness becomes increasingly complex.
NEED TO DISCUSS IMPACT ON FREMANTLE – WHAT HAS BEEN DONE / NOT BEEN DONE
10 years ago, Anglicare WA rental affordability report found that rentals are increasingly out of reach for Western Australians, with only one per cent of rental accommodation within the affordability range of people on pensions. Now with the increase in the cost of rentals and the decrease in supply, the situation is far worse.
How is it that in this affluent state, the government cannot provide emergency overnight beds for people who are in need? We hear media reports of the growing tent city emerging in Western Australia, whereby working families are finding it almost impossible to access rental houses due to escalating prices and a lack of availability. They are finding themselves left with no option but to pitch a tent in caravan parks that are close to capacity. The community needs affordable housing and public housing now, it cannot wait.
The City of Perth has started taking action on homelessness and Fremantle needs to follow suit. Safe Night Shelters are currently being trialled. See link below:
The State Government has just opened the Boorloo Bidee Mia Homeless Transitional Shelter in Wellington Street, in the Perth CBD to house 100 rough sleepers. I applaud this decision and if elected Mayor would call for a similar shelter for Fremantle. In 2011 and 2012 I raised the issue of Homelessness in Fremantle and 10 years ago called for a shelter to be built (see Track Record tab, ‘Tackling Homelessness’).
Its time for action on this desperate issue in Fremantle now.
WHAT IS NEEDED IN FREMANTLE?