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.