The Nationals candidate for Geraldton Shane Van Styn has today committed support for the Bundiyarra Hostel project if he is elected.
The Bundiyarra Aboriginal Community Aboriginal Corporation has proposed a 138-room hostel facility to aid homeless people in Geraldton.
Mr Van Styn said the Nationals recognised “difficulties faced by families” who would travel in to Geraldton from the outer regions and couldn’t find short-term accommodation.
He said the Nationals would make the hostel project a “priority” for Royalties for Regions funding if he won the Geraldton seat.
“If elected as the member for Geraldton in March, I will make this project a local priority and work with the project proponents to ensure it gets up and running,” he said.
The $10m hostel, to be built in stages, is intended for both indigenous and non-indigenous people. It has been earmarked for construction at Bundiyarra’s Utakarra premises.
Mr Van Styn made the pledge to the corporation’s members, including chairman Ross Oakley, this morning.
“A hostel would mean there would be a reduced need for mums, dads and children to sleep rough when away from home, which in turn reduces social friction and improves health outcomes,” Mr Van Styn said.“It would also provide a place to sleep for those who, for a number of reasons, find themselves without housing for a short period of time.”