Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has accused the Labor Party of being deliberately deceptive, following claims the homelessness solution it announced was not concrete.
Opposition leader Zak Kirkup has accused the Labor Party of being deliberately deceptive, misleading and full of spin, following claims that the accommodation solution it announced for Perth’s homeless may not have been concrete.
Last week, Premier Mark McGowan announced that about 100 homeless people would be accommodated at a hostel in Perth’s CBD after the state government allegedly leased the Wellington Street complex.
The announcement followed intense scrutiny by the Liberal Party WA of the government’s inaction at Fremantle’s ‘tent city’, with 100 homeless people sleeping in a park in the port city’s centre for several weeks.
But this morning The West Australian reported that the government had not yet leased the property ahead of the announcement, and that another party was ready to purchase the hostel.
The news comes just days after City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas confirmed that the city had not been consulted, sending questions to the state government about the costs associated with the move and its impact on the city’s existing initiatives.
Mr Kirkup said the news was an embarrassing indictment on the state government and its failure to have any plans for the future.
“The reality is that homelessness is an issue and it’s at a crisis point in Western Australia,” he said.
“The Liberal Party has a plan right now to create 100 safe and secure beds for those that are homeless.
“The Labor Party could take that up and implement it today, but instead they’ve been deliberately deceptive, misleading and full of spin and come up with a policy that actually wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.
“These are people’s lives we’re talking about, the most vulnerable people in WA, and this is how Labor is treating them.
“They come out with a plan that actually has no substance and was all about trying to stem media backlash.
“That is shameful and we deserve a government that actually addresses the challenges that we have ahead of us.”
During a press conference this afternoon, Mr McGowan confirmed that the state government was advised of the opportunity and formerly approved a decision to secure the property at its last cabinet meeting, however, negotiations were not executed as they should have been.
As a result, the owners sought another buyer for the property.
Mr McGowan said the state government would now look for another appropriate facility as a replacement.