One Mile Sub­stan­dard hous­ing to go

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell and Glenn Cord­ing­ley

Res­i­dents of an Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity on the out­skirts of the Broome CBD that has been plagued with anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and vi­o­lence over the years have been re­lo­cated and the homes are to be de­mol­ished.

One Mile, on Old Broome Road, will be razed and the land will be vested with tra­di­tional own­ers, the Yawuru.

State Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Minister Ben Wy­att said res­i­dents had moved from “ap­palling” con­di­tions to bet­ter hous­ing.

“Peo­ple have been liv­ing in ap­palling con­di­tions in these places for too many years,” he said

“Our Gov­ern­ment and our pre­de­ces­sor have been working with res­i­dents of these com­mu­ni­ties so there is agree­ment for them to move into bet­ter hous­ing in Broome.

“The ti­tle will be di­vested to Yawuru na­tive ti­tle hold­ers cor­po­ra­tion as part of the State Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to mod­ernise the Abo­rig­i­nal Lands Trust es­tate through­out Western Aus­tralia.”

Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties com­mer­cial oper­a­tions as­sis­tant di­rec­tor Greg Cash said all ten­ants va­cated One Mile vol­un­tar­ily or “left of their own ac­cord”.

“Some ten­ants moved back to coun­try and some ten­ants moved to town un­der a spon­sored and sup­ported ten­ancy man­age­ment frame­work,” he said.

“This has oc­curred over an ex­ten­sive pe­riod, with the last ten­ant va­cat­ing in March.”

It is un­der­stood about 10 fam­i­lies lived at the town re­serve, but it at­tracted a num­ber of short-stay visi­tors from other com­mu­ni­ties who were in Broome, pri­mar­ily to at­tend work or funer­als.

Mr Cash said two dwellings and a shed re­mained on the land, which were emp­tied while the de­mo­li­tion ten­der was called.

Nyamba Buru Yawuru chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Yu said the land’s fu­ture use was un­cer­tain.

“The Yawuru board will need to look at the op­tions about what ten­ure will be ac­cept­able to them and the pur­pose of the land,” he said.

“We are not any­where near think­ing about what that might be.

“There are im­por­tant cul­tural sites as­so­ci­ated with the area that will be a pri­or­ity for Yawuru peo­ple in terms of en­sur­ing those sites will con­tinue to be pro­tected.”

Shire of Broome pres­i­dent Harold Tracey said the hous­ing on the re­serve was sub-stan­dard and the res­i­dents had no con­trol over who stayed there.

“For us, this is an end to a saga that has been go­ing on for years at One Mile where we have had con­cerns about liv­ing con­di­tions, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour,” he said.

“We don’t be­lieve the bad be­hav­iour stemmed from the res­i­dents. It’s just this itin­er­ant in­flu­ence again, which is out of the com­mu­nity’s con­trol.”

Mr Tracey said the coun­cil was also act­ing on con­cerns sur­round­ing Kennedy Hill, an­other Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity bor­der­ing Broome’s Chi­na­town.

“It is no se­cret we have some real con­cerns about Kennedy Hill, the con­di­tions for peo­ple liv­ing there and as­so­ci­ated anti-so­cial be­hav­iour,” he said.

“We are hop­ing some sen­si­bil­ity will come into this as it is third world con­di­tions there (Kennedy Hill).”

Mr Yu said he had not been in­volved in dis­cus­sions about Kennedy Hill, but would fol­low a sim­i­lar process to One Mile if it were to be closed.

“If they are go­ing to move them (the cur­rent res­i­dents) into the town we will start ne­go­ti­a­tions with the State,” he said.

“We do not have any le­gal say into what hap­pens at the mo­ment.”

Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell

The One Mile re­serve was com­pletely va­cated by March.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.