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How could it come to this?


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Aboriginal Liaison Officer Lisa Fieldhouse with homeless people at the Mirrabooka site. Picture: Tom Rabe Aboriginal Liaison Officer Lisa Fieldhouse with homeless people at the Mirrabooka site. Picture: Tom Rabe

A GROUP of six ill Aboriginal people, from the Kimberley and Pilbara, are camping in Mirrabooka bushland because they have nowhere else to go.

They need emergency accommodation while they receive medical treatment in Perth, but have been told they could be waiting for up to three years.

The Salvation Army has provided meals and blankets to the people who have been forced to enter private property in search of clean drinking water.

Roy (51) has been camping intermittently in the bushland reserve for more than two years. He is being treated for diabetes and said he is frustrated after being put on the priority-housing waiting list in 2011.

Morley MLA Ian Britza has been liaising with the group and said he will follow up the housing situation through the Department of Housing (Homeswest).

“I do care for these people and simply wanted to know how they got there… and what we could do to get them into some housing as soon as possible,” he said.

“This is not in my electorate; however, that doesn’t stop me from wanting an understanding of why it has come to this.”

Aboriginal Liaison officer Lisa Fieldhouse said although the group had received support, more needed to be done.

Mrs Fieldhouse said some had contracted chest infections because of the cold weather and could not adequately recover in the camp after they left hospital.

“We need something done about housing because it’s a revolving door of health and employment issues,” she said.

Mrs Fieldhouse echoed concerns highlighted during Homeless Persons Week that West Australians on the priority housing list are waiting up to three years for a home.

The issue was raised at last week’s City of Stirling council meeting when a community member inquired about the group.

Australia’s Councils of Social Service said a long-term approach was needed if the Australian Government was to achieve its promise of halving homelessness.

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What everyone else is thinking

Anne Wilson


Campers from the Pilbara are in Mirrabooka bushland again in the same location. While I am concerned for the unhygienic conditions that these people are living in, I am also concerned for the state of the bush, which is degenerating into a rubbish tip and latrine.



In the city of Albany, I have seen a Homeswest house sit vacant for nearly three years, since being vacated. The home had been well kept by the previous tenants and didn't need extensive renovation.
There is a long waiting list for homes in Albany. If it happens here, how many other homes are vacant across the state?



out of sight out of mind as fare as the housing department is concerned.....we may as well be living in the bush...for where they housed us its disgusting ...roof falling down water main busterd fence broken for three years still waiting for it to be fixed......2 disability people live in this rumble...and the housing department just turn there back to us and the elder woman has a lot of health problems she is a elder aboriginal...so it goes to show they neglect not only people living in bushland but also people in what id call run down shacks....living on the reserves wasbad just to be treated like that again ...



These people were sent from their Pilbara and Kimberley homes to Perth as per medical advice given to them locally as the medical treatment they require is not available in their local region. Many of the Aboriginal hostels specifically established to accommodate short tern patients from the North are completely full. Mostly full with long term patients who are also on the waiting list for housing. If the medical services they NEEDED was provided to them in their home towns, they would not need to travel to the Metro area. They want to be home. These people do not choose to be there, they have to be there.

A guy called Fred


So, @Observer... no chance of you taking my advice then...?



Oh your humanity doth shine brightly!
Dish out the blame fair square on the victims.
Who created the dispossession in the first place?
The Pilbara is now a playground for rich white men milking the landscape.
Brendon Grylls, the Lib in Moleskins is happy to reside in the richest suburb in Perth and FIFO to Karratha, while impersonating a struggling farmers friend.He is more like the mining industry's waterboy.And Barnett is the cheer squad.



It's time to re-open the old Lord street campsite that Labor had shutdown years ago ...



What about the Aboriginal Hostels in Perth? I thought they were for emergency accommodation for people up North or visiting Perth?
Can't they stay there until they get permanent housing or somewhere else to stay? Yes why are they in Perth, isn't there hospitals in the Pilbara that can help them with their illnessess?

A guy called Fred


Here's a great chance for all those politically correct, touchy feely, chardonnay socialist types to actually drive out there and lend a hand by donating blankets, tents, a couple of camping showers and a few tins of food. All will they sit on the couch whinging about the government instead?

jill may


Its disgusting that Indigenous people are not provided adequate accommodation yet asylum seekers are provided for all of there needs as soon as they land. Neither of the political parties will have any solutions anyway may as well not vote for anyone...



What is Robert Isaacs (ex Clontarf boy), doing to help these people ,His people so he claims ,why have they left the safety of the Pilbara to become homeless is this a set up for election votes .

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