The Department of Communities have confirmed that the opening date of an Aboriginal short-stay accommodation facility in Geraldton has been delayed by a year.
Aboriginal heritage building and community considerations have resulted in the delays to the 75-bed, $18 million facility. When completed, the facility will meet the needs of Aboriginal visitors from remote communities who travel to Geraldton to access a range of services.
“This facility was due to open early next year, but now vulnerable community members travelling to Geraldton from remote communities will have to wait even longer to access safe and culturally appropriate accommodation,” said Shadow Minister for Housing, Steve Martin.
“People travelling to Geraldton from remote communities for medical treatment need secure accommodation – not the Batavia Inn site.
“The Batavia Inn currently poses a risk to the people living there and to the wider community. This delay means that more people will be forced to stay at dangerous and unsafe premises like the Batavia while they are awaiting healthcare services.
“In difficult circumstances the police are doing their best to control the behaviour at the site.
“The Labor Government must act immediately to alleviate the pressure the Geraldton community is under.
“A lack of suitable accommodation and housing options has gotten us in this situation, and the delays to the new facility will only make it worse.
“This government has consistently failed to meet the needs of the Geraldton community and have delivered nothing but delays,” said Mr Martin.
“We have been promised time and time again that the Geraldton Hospital will be upgraded to meet increasing community demands but we are yet to see anything more than a carpark.
“This is just another sign that Labor do not care about regional Western Australia.
“After over five years in government, the people of Geraldton are sick of the setbacks and interruptions. Premier McGowan and the Member for Geraldton must step up and deliver on their promises – without delay.”