Crisis centre on the agenda

The need for more crisis accommodation in the South West is on the agenda with a pre-election commitment by the Labor government to establish further services in the region. 

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray pledged his support for the idea prior to the state election in March. 

“Right now there are no options for people to access crisis accommodation and its very much needed to address the problems I see in our community on occasion. At the moment we see the crisis accommodation in the region is overflowing. Its my commitment to address this problem,” he said.

Mr Murray said research was currently underway to establish a plan for further crisis accommodation.  

“Studies are being undertaken to identify hotspots and most accessible and appropriate locations for such crisis accommodation,” he said.

“Any new centre will have to undergo an application process to select an appropriate provider for administering the services provided.”

The statement of support comes after recently released figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed an increase in the number of reported instances of family and domestic violence in Western Australia. 

AccordWest crisis care CEO Neil Hamilton said they were currently working on expanding both their adult and youth services for the region. 

“We try and look from a regional perspective, which includes Collie, and it’s an area that traditionally hasn’t had the crisis services. Though, many of our towns across the region don’t have crisis services either,” he said. 

“There are two areas within crisis accommodation; one is with youth, then there’s adult crisis accommodation. Then we have refuge accommodation for women and children experiencing domestic violence.”

Mr Hamilton said at the moment most people in Collie generally access their services through the South West Women’s Refuge.

“We don’t have any specific funds at the moment earmarked for Collie, though it’s an area we would certainly like to explore options,” he said. 

Mr Hamilton said there had been an increase in the number of people who were homeless that have issues surrounding drugs and mental health issues. 

“While there is not a major increase in the number of people who are presenting as homeless, the complexity for part of that group is quite high, with significant issues around the drug and mental health areas,” he said.