Residents protest move
Residents from the Port Hedland Retirement Village have taken action over plans to move everybody out of the complex amid safety concerns.
They are circulating a petition to the State Government calling on the Town of Port Hedland to reverse its decision and allow people to keep living in the village, despite concerns the buildings are unsafe as the cyclone season moves closer.
The Town has told the residents their leases will not be renewed when they expire in June, but has offered them alternative accommodation about 20km away at Egret Court in South Hedland.
Residents were notified by letter on November 8 and given seven days notice to attend an on-site meeting to discuss the matter with Town of Port Hedland officials.
In the letter, Town chief executive David Pentz said an independent surveyor had deemed the buildings unsafe.
“Given the cyclone season has commenced, the town recommends relocating at your earliest opportunity for your personal safety,” he wrote.
The residents held a public meeting at the village on Saturday and waved placards in an attempt to convince the Town they wanted to stay put where the majority had lived for more than 20 years.
More than 50 locals voiced their concerns for the residents living in the complex.
Event organiser Kailah Marshall spoke at the meeting about the need for support and emotional wellbeing.
“My main focus was to show residents that the town cares about their wellbeing, and regardless of the outcome — we all wanted to show the residents at Stevens Street that the town is supporting them,” she said.
“A local business has donated 50 hours of labour to help rebuild the village in future works at the site if it’s going ahead in 2019.”
Residents will have the opportunity to voice their concerns on the matter at the next council meeting on November 28 at the Port Hedland Civic Centre. Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco was contacted for comment.
Locals gather to show their support for the residents of the Port Hedland Retirement Village.