There has been considerable public debate and media reporting this week on a joint press statement by myself and the member for Kalgoorlie, Kryan O’Donnell on the important and contentious issue of anti-social behaviour on our streets.
I am using my weekly column today to provide what I think is a more balanced explanation of what we are seeking.
A column in yesterday’s Miner concentrated on a small part of our press release where we called for the courts to provide more support for the police, yet that was not picked up when the newspaper wrote the original story.
In other words, the journalist was critical of privileged information the same newspaper did not reveal to the public; little wonder some readers expressed confusion over yesterday’s column.
Regardless of that, as far as I’m concerned, the four main issues out of all this are:
1 I will support the Ngaanyatjarraku Shire in getting Canberra to reintroduce the CDEP method of Dole payments. To that end, Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku officials and myself will meet with the Federal Minister for Indigenous People, Ken Wyatt next Tuesday.
2 As your mayor, I want to extend the Cashless Debit Card to the Lands so that when welfare recipients from Ngaanyatjarraku come to Laverton, Leonora and Kalgoorlie-Boulder they operate on the same system that has been a great success.
3 I will continue to support local MLC Kyle McGinn in getting a Banned Drinkers’ Register introduced to the Goldfields. The advantage of this is that it’s the regular offenders who face restrictions and not the general public.
4 Your council will keep pressure on the State and Federal Governments to provide the level of staff and services in a range of departments to ensure those who need help and assistance in our community receive it before it is too late and they end up in hospital or jail. Preventative policies and programs are preferable to punitive measures. The Department of Communities has a massive job to do and it is my contention that every increase in their budget will save far more money is other areas and along the way lead to an improved lifestyle for those they are charged with helping.
What has been happening on our streets since Christmas should not be allowed to continue; for local residents and especially for the people living on the streets, as that is no life for them and their families and to turn a blind eye to that would be an abrogation of our duty as community leaders.