Town on a mission to clean up housing

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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The days of run-down buildings and “derelict” houses may soon come to an end as the Town of Port Hedland takes the lead in reducing antisocial behaviour and crime in the region.

Mayor Camilo Blanco is leading an initiative to clean up homes and other buildings that have fallen into a state of disrepair and have caused safety concerns to the community.

Mr Blanco said he would no longer turn a blind eye to unsafe properties.

“Nobody is leading any initiatives to reduce those social issues, so with our focus on reducing antisocial behaviour and crime, in partnership with police and with housing, we are taking that initiative to ensure these things are reduced in town,” he said.

“This is a State Government responsibility ... but as those complaints come in, we will be dealing with them and the owners.”

The initiative began after Mr Blanco came into office, noticing safety concerns in pockets of the community, including houses being “frequented as a site for the use of drugs”.

So far the initiative has led to one house in South Hedland being cleaned up, and multiple transportable structures in Wedgefield.

Through a process of health orders and working with the Public Trustee’s office, the Town has been able to work within the boundaries of the law to ensure the Port Hedland region is “as safe as possible” for residents.

Mr Blanco said while the most recent house clean-up in South Hedland took almost six months to complete, he was confident the move was in the best interest of the community.

“This sort of stuff has been neglected for a number of years, but that’s not the case any more,” he said. “It’s a slow process, but we are following the rules.

“Currently I have probably 10-15 houses that are on file.”

To report a property to the Town, call 9158 9300 or email council@porthedland.wa.gov. au.

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