Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan called homeless tent city in Fremantle Organisers Anarchists and paid actors from extinction rebellion.
McGowan takes at Fremantle tent city organisers and has accused the Fremantle council and Mayor Brad Pettitt of prolonging a homeless tent city in the port city while calling for tent city to end now.
Fremantle local government has maintained it never approved the use of Pioneer Park for rough sleepers.
Fremantle tent city volunteer and organiser Johnny Windus said they had a zero-tolerance policy for violence, drinking, and drug use.
Signs are displayed around Fremantle Tent city, and the only condition of receiving food is that people obey to these rules.
Police on Thursday revealed incidents they were tied to the tent city, including the alleged indecent dealing of two girls aged 14 and 13 years, and the rape of one of them in the early hours of January 1 on Fleet Street which starts about 500m away from the park.
Fremantle Tent City Homelessness on the Rise Western Australia report
Police have had 77 calls for assistance related to the Fremantle tent city and issued 25 move-on notices in the Pioneer Park area.
Charges have been laid many of very significant nature about some of the conduct going on at that camp and some of the charges are very, very disturbing, said Mark McGowan after speaking with the acting police commissioner.
Innocent members of the public of the Fremantle are being victimised. The local businesses are being attacked, some of the community organisations, many business owners were complaining they cannot operate properly because of the illegal Fremantle tent city.
Clear guidelines for improving safety for residents and the wider community have been established, including a clear response to any antisocial behaviour, rather than just issuing countless move-on notices.
Media reports suggesting that any crime or antisocial behaviour in the wider Fremantle area is now attributable to the Fremantle tent city and ignore chronic antisocial behaviour concerns and an escalating homelessness epidemic in Fremantle. Many homeless came from other suburbs and areas and Perth city.
Fremantle Tent City Homelessness on the Rise Western Australia
Most of Fremantle tent City occupants were identified as being at risk of being attacked or beaten, while 88 per cent had alcohol and other drug indicators, 58 per cent mental health indicators and 66 per cent with a form of disability, most of which were head trauma or brain injuries.
The situation came about because the Fremantle council invited the organisers behind the camp to set up there in the first place, Mark McGowan said.
They have allowed them to continue on now for the best part of a month, the council needs to step up here. The council needs to assist us in resolving this issue, Mark McGowan said.
Technically the campers and the tents are not trespassing because the Fremantle council has allowed them and invited them onto the site and the council owns the land.
However, Fremantle council or Mayor Brad Pettit has never given permission for people to Fremantle tent city at the site.
The camp has not been approved by the City of Fremantle and the City does not support the Fremantle tent city remaining at the park.
Council seeks the closure of the Fremantle tent city and return of Pioneer Park to its intended purpose and will continue to work constructively and collaboratively with the state government and service agencies to seek a closure that prioritises the welfare needs of the occupants.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the attitude from the government seemed to be there was no problem here.
My frustration on this is there has not been an acknowledgment within the government that there is a housing and homelessness crisis in this state, Mayor Brad Pettitt said.
I think everyone else can see it and it would require an investment in housing going forward.
Liberal party leader Zak Kirkup said violence in Fremantle should be condemned, but issues around the homeless camp should not be conflated.
People are vulnerable, people are sleeping rough, people do need help and do need assistance, the language that has been used more recently Premier Mark McGowan is inflammatory, Zak Kirkup said.
I think it’s important we have compassion for those who are vulnerable in our community and that’s exactly what we’ve been talking about the last couple of weeks now. Of course preelection promises if Liberal Perty will be elected in March they will solve the homelessness in Western Australia.
There are more than 25,000 people on the public housing waiting list in WA.
The government announced in December it would refurbish about 1500 existing social housing dwellings in Western Australia and build or buy 250 new ones.
Many social service providers are calling on the Western Australia government to increase social housing stock.
Greens Leader Alison Xamon has criticised the government for not freeing up funds to provide more crisis accommodation and affordable homes. But forgot to tell how much money swallow non-profit green organisation that did nothing for homeless people.
Mayor Pettitt will take a leave of absence from his role as Fremantle Mayor from 29th of January to campaign as an upper house candidate for the Greens.
Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan will become the acting head of the council but is unlikely to become the spokesman on the ongoing issue of the problem with homelessness and Fremantle tent City.
Mr Sullivan has declared an interest for council business regarding the Fremantle tent city because he rents office space to Jesse Noakes, who is one of the organisers.
Mark McGowan has painted Mr Noakes as an “anarchist” who was behind the Extinction Rebellion protests.
Mr Noakes was previously a spokesman for the movement but told ABC Perth he stopped doing it last year.
Mayor Pettitt said when he stepped down it was likely the council would need to designate a new spokesperson and it might end up being the local government’s chief executive.
Fremantle Tent City Homelessness on the Rise Western Australia report
Fremantle Tent City Homelessness on the Rise Western Australia dismantled by WA Government
The West Australian Government has confirmed it has taken control of Fremantle Tent city Pioneer Park in order to shut down a tent city set up for homeless people.
Police officers are on-site ensuring residents pack up and move on Authorities have spent the day packing up the tent city, with representatives from WA Police and the Department of Communities shifting 67 people into accommodation.
A State Government spokesman said a further nine people were offered accommodation but did not show up, while one was arrested, one was intoxicated and one declined to support.
In a statement released today, the Government said it was in the public interest for it to intervene, and in the interest of the vulnerable people who are being taken advantage of by the activists and organisers of the camp.
Mr McGowan said he had received a call from the Acting Police Commissioner confirming the closure had gone well.
Some people will go back to the country, some people will go into various forms of accommodation, some people will go back to where they were living, he added.
The Premier also reiterated claims that camp organisers and the City of Fremantle had encouraged people to go to the park, the organisers — Extinction Rebellion people and professional protestors, and anarchists — kept pulling other people out of supported accommodation and putting them on the site, and the Fremantle council kept allowing it to happen, Mr McGowan told reporters.
So we stepped in and we solved it!
Hotel rooms across Perth for highly vulnerable homeless people clearly demonstrates that the WA Government has no emergency accommodation available.
One week in a hotel is not the solution to homelessness only more housing can end homelessness, many stay without food.
After one week of the temporary solution (Hotel accommodation) we can expect Tent city in another part of the City