Geraldton-based Aboriginal short-stay facility plan in motion

Lisa FavazzoMidwest Times
The Department of Communties short stay accomodation facility in Derby.
Camera IconThe Department of Communties short stay accomodation facility in Derby. Credit: Supplied

Aboriginal people in the remote Mid West and Gascoyne are one step closer to gaining access to a short-stay accommodation complex in Geraldton, with the State Government advertising a request for tender for an architect yesterday.

The $18 million facility, planned for the Bundiyarra site in Utakarra, will temporarily house about 75 people in both single and family rooms while they access services in the regional hub. It will also have spaces for recreation, dining and laundry.

When the project was announced last year, local Aboriginal leader Gordon Gray said it represented more than a building.

“This gives our people hope,” he said.

“Our people who need to come to Geraldton for services have to stay with family and/or friends.

“It puts a lot of pressure on.

“There are problems, there can be fights. It puts pressure on services, facilities, relationships.”

Similar accommodation has already opened in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Derby and Broome.

The Department of Communities will oversee the project, including community and stakeholder consultation, public tender, and design and construction.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson said the centre would keep visitors safe and be culturally considerate.

Housing Minister John Carey said the centre would help remote community residents access services, visit their families, and get on with personal business.

“The Geraldton Aboriginal short-stay accommodation facility will provide short-term accommodation for Aboriginal people visiting the city,” he said.

“The three existing facilities have provided more than 100,000 bed nights of accommodation to date.”

Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton said: “I am thrilled a facility for the city of Geraldton is one step closer.”

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