The head of the agency charged with managing houses at the Wongatha Wonganarra Village has raised concerns over a State Government plan to construct an ablution block inside the community.
Lands Minister Brendon Grylls said ablution facilities and a shelter to provide shade would be built to assist with the influx of visitors to the town during summer, with funding for the project to come from the Aboriginal Community Emergency Response fund.
But Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation chief executive Julia Shadlow-Bath said the announcement raised a number of questions about the ongoing management of the facility.
“While better infrastructure in the remote areas is always welcome, it’s a bit ironic a million (dollar) road improvement will better link Aboriginal communities to Laverton, but the only improvement when they arrive is a new toilet block,” Ms Shadlow-Bath said.
“How long does the emergency funding go for, where is the ablution block going, who is looking after the ongoing cleaning, repairs and maintenance and if it’s in the community, will the ablution block become a burden for the Wongatha residents who are impacted by the many transient visitors the amenity seeks to service?“A $1m road upgrade might be needed, but it says a lot when some issues receive planning, funding and resources while others are resolved with ‘emergency’ funding. It would be good to see the Goldfields receive the same considered levels of service, investment and attention as our remote counterparts in other parts of the State.”
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