20/01/2021 - 15:33

Kirkup, McGowan lock horns on tent city

20/01/2021 - 15:33

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Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has called on Mark McGowan to visit Fremantle's homeless tent city, but the premier has urged organisers to help agencies house vulnerable people.

Kirkup, McGowan lock horns on tent city
Zak Kirkup has called on Mark McGowan to visit Fremantle's homeless tent city.

Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has called on Mark McGowan to step up and visit Fremantle’s tent city, after claims by the premier it is being run by professional protestors.

Mr Kirkup rejected claims that those gathered may not be genuinely homeless.

“I call on the premier to step up and visit tent city, rather than being divisive,” he said

“We think that these people should get the support they need and not simply be moved on.

“Homeless and street present people need safe and secure housing, and that’s what the Liberal Party would do if we were fortunate enough to win government.

“The people I spoke to, and I spoke to quite a lot of people, I was very confident that what they’re telling me is that they find themselves in a position where they don’t have a home.

“If the premier and the state government is so confident that there is interim accommodation available, by the end of the month I would expect everyone that can be put into a bed, to be in a bed, with safe and secure accommodation.”

But Mr McGowan said there were beds available at service providers in Perth and Fremantle.

“The people organising the protest, they actually don't care that there's services available, they just want to see the whole thing erupt,” he said.

“They don't care about solutions, they just want to cause grief. 

“I urge everyone out there, including the Liberal Party, to stop encouraging this.”

Mr McGowan said the protest organisers needed to work with community groups to help house people.

“(The protestors) want the disruption,” he said.

“They don't care about the local businesses.

“They want to draw people out that are in existing services and make some sort of statement at the park; it's wrong.

“The organisers need to stop promoting this.”

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