Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Boulder fringe-dwellers safer and healthier due to joint initiative

    17/07/2000 6:15 AM

    Fringe-dwellers in Boulder are healthier and safer as a result of a joint initiative of SAFER WA and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

    The Zone 6 fringe dweller camp, which currently provides basic services such as power, water, toilets, shelter and firewood, is within walking distance of the Boulder business district.

    The camp was built to provide approximately 30 fringe-dwellers with a safer and more secure area in which to camp.

    It was developed by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in consultation with remote communities as well as fringe-dwellers, police and other Government agencies.

    Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Kim Hames, who will visit the camp following Regional Cabinet in Kalgoorlie today, said its success was testimony to the partnership approach to a local problem.

    “This is an example of what can be done when a number of agencies and individuals get together to work on a problem rather than giving it to someone else," Dr Hames said.

    “SAFER WA is all about communities getting together to find local solutions to local problems.

    “In this case, SAFER WA, through the Community Security Program, was able to help with a $50,000 grant, as well as funding from the Aboriginal Affairs Department and the Red Cross.

    “In fact, the Red Cross continues to help by providing breakfast to those living at the camp.”

    Dr Hames said he was originally sceptical about how successful the camp could be but was delighted to have been proved wrong.

    He also praised the efforts of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Council, which has worked with Aboriginal groups, health and welfare providers and the police to improve conditions for fringe-dwellers as well as addressing safety and security issues.

    Dr Hames said complaints about fringe-dwellers had gone from about 60 per month to one or two every three months.

    “Aboriginal health service providers in Kalgoorlie-Boulder tell me that they can see a marked improvement in the health of those using the camp,” he said.

    “They have access to fresh, clean water, dry shelter, showers and toilets in a secure environment rather than roughing it in the town where they may fall victim to assault.”

    Dr Hames said that Zone 6 was by no means complete and that it would be continually improved.

    Media contact: Fran Hodge on 9215 4800