Then & Now

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TAKEN from approximately the same position but 144 years apart, these two photographs clearly illustrate Geraldton’s development in that time.

From the digital archives of Geraldton Historical Society, the old photo is believed to be the earliest image on record of Marine Terrace.

It shows the developing town’s main street as a rough sand track, the first layer of bitumen was not laid down until the 1920s.

However, that old photo is not quite as old as was first thought.

When it was added to the GHS archive around 20 years ago, it was recorded as having been taken in 1869, but the only recognisable landmark tells a slightly different story.

That landmark is the Victoria Hotel, which was built in 1871/1872 when the area's total population was only 500 people.

With solid walls of stone and brick, it still standsbut is now empty and unused.

No other buildings in the archive image are recognisable today, those which replaced them were built in line with the Victoria Hotel, closer to what is today the footpath.

An interesting detail in the archived photo is at the right, a tall pole bearing a bell.

This is believed to have been the town’s fire alarm, which would have been loud enough to call volunteers to the foreshore.

Once there, they would fill their one horse-drawn tank and pump with sea water before galloping to the blaze!

This suggestion for suspending licences is actually brilliant

We've published a couple of stories recently on that dangerous intersection at Hosken and NWCH. 

Here's the first. 

And here's a letter from a local Labor politician who says he's been nagging the Liberal National government about this intersection for years.

It's true that accidents could be avoided if people weren't idiots and never pulled out when they couldn't see. 

But we don't live in that reality. We live in a reality where we need roundabouts and traffic lights. 

But one local has a suggestion on creating a new law for removing someone's drivers licence that might make the roads safer:

Ryan Eastough : I use this intersection every day at least 2wice its a shocker , im carefull on both bike and car and havent had an incident but iv seen so many near misses that have really frightened me for those involved , mainly people lacking in driving skills ,but in this day and age we have to protect the stupid as well because " natural selection " is no longer tolerated and licences are hard to take back once given out unless it's drunk driving or hoon laws maybe there should also be an " ur just an unco useless driver , hand ur licence back because ur dangerous clause "

Sounds good to us.

Seeing how there's no transport minister in WA, Mr Blayney can you fix this intersection for us?

Why you should never do "Share to Win" competitions

Over the last year or so I've noticed a proliferation of "share to win" competitions on Facebook. 

Everything Geraldton has run a number of "like to win" comps in the past, and they're a nice way for our audience to win a prize. 

BUT, it may interest you to know that it's actually against Facebook's terms to make "sharing" or tagging a friend a condition of entry.

Business owners beware: if you post something with "Share this post to win" on your Facebook page, you actually risk Facebook shutting your entire page down. 

Here's the link. (Section E 3)

Why is this a problem?

Apart from the fact that very few people want to be constantly spammed with "share to win" posts in their newsfeed, there's a technical reason why you cannot make sharing to win a condition of entry on a Facebook page:

A page owner has no way of knowing who shared a post, unless the sharer has their privacy settings set to public.

Recently a competition appeared in my Facebook news feed. I clicked and had a look, and the post had over 490 shares. But when I clicked on the "shares" link, I am only shown 83 names. So although 490 people think they've entered a competition, really only 83 people have a chance of winning.

Most Facebook users have their privacy settings set to "friends". So when they share a post from a page, the page administrators cannot see their name. When they click the link to see who shared a post, Facebook only shows them the names of people who shared it publicly. 

When you enter a competition that asks you to "share", the page admin then checks the names of who shared the post, and picks a winner. The problem is, your name probably isn't even on the list, even though you shared it with all your friends. 

Unless you went and deliberately changed your privacy settings to "Public" (which most people do NOT want to do) your name isn't in the draw to win anything, despite you sharing the post. 

If people are following the terms of entry, but they're technically not in the running to win because the business cannot see the names of who shared the post, then not only has that business broken Facebook's terms, but there could be legal or ethical implications. It's like obtaining a raffle ticket but your entry never goes in the barrel, it goes in the bin. 

Running a competition in Western Australia is covered under the GAMING AND WAGERING COMMISSION ACT 1987, Section 104. 

Section 3 states: the permit holder shall ensure that every ticket or chance sold or subscription received is included in the drawing of a standard lottery; ... 

Section 11 states: "Records relating to the lottery shall be maintained for a period of twelve months and shall be made available to an authorised officer of the Gaming and Wagering Commission or a Police Officer upon request."

So not only does anyone who has been told they're in the draw HAVE TO BE ACTUALLY IN THE DRAW, but you have to be able to show the Police that this is the case, for the next 12 months. 

"Share to win" competitions on Facebook conflict with this section of the Act, because the method of entry is not consistently measurable by the business owner. 

But I didn't know!

Neither did we until a few years ago. But once it was explained it made a lot of sense. We still get a lot of businesses asking Everything Geraldton to run Facebook comps with "sharing" as a condition of entry, and while we acknowledge it's tempting because of the amazing reach those posts get, we don't think it's ethical, and it's a clear breach of Facebook's terms.

We will still run "Like to enter" competitions on Facebook, which are quite popular with many of our followers.

What should I do?

If you run a page, our advice is to make sure you never make "sharing" a condition of entry for a competition. "Like to win" is still ok. Or "visit our website and fill in this form", or whatever you can accurately measure. If whoever manages the social media for your business isn't aware of Facebook's terms, and the laws around Trade Promotions in WA, they could be getting your company into hot water. 

If you're just a Facebook user who sees these "share to win" competitions all the time, it's up to you if you want to spam your friends. But you'll need to change your privacy settings to public to even have a chance of winning, which means ANYONE, even people not logged into Facebook, can see your posts. 


But I've seen lots of organisations do this?

So have we. We've seen government agencies do it, large media companies, social media professionals, and lots more.

We haven't named or singled out any company in Geraldton doing this, because it's likely they simply didn't know how Facebook's sharing mechanism worked. Social media is still very new and confusing to a lot of us. 

In addition to the confusion, few of us read the terms and conditions when we sign up for anything, even a Facebook page. 

But we hope that once people understand how sharing and privacy settings work on Facebook, they'll realise "share" is not a suitable way to gather entrants for a competition. "Liking" on Facebook is perfect, though. 


Footnote: It may be argued that by "liking" the post as well, people have entered the competition, even if their "share" isn't visible to the page admin. The two arguments against this logic are that 1. it's still a breach of the ACT, and 2. people who "like and share" from a shared post on their friend's page will have their share appear on the original page's list, but NOT their LIKE. In a nutshell: Many people's names will only appear in the list of those who "shared" the post, not those who "liked" it. 

Footnote: Another new type of competition is the "Post on your page with this hashtag". While the rules around these are also ambiguous, it's worth noting that, again, unless the person posts with their privacy settings set to Public, their post will never be able to be seen by anyone other than their friends, and they won't be in the draw for anything.

 

How can I help the Police?

 Make it Tougher For Crooks – Geraldton Police Seek Your Help

Geraldton Police are calling for the community to team up with local Police to tackle crime, to make it tougher for crooks.

In what are on their own, simple steps, small actions that the community can take go a long way to prevent crime and assist Police in a variety of ways.

These are some steps that the community can take to stand against crime:

• Timely reporting of suspicious behaviour – Police need to know what you see when you see it

• Get to know your neighbours – More eyes on the street

• Register your Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) with WA Police through your local Police Station

• Even when at home, lock your doors and windows.  NEVER leave keys in locks and consider what a crook may look for when targeting your home, vehicle or business.These may include valuables left in plain sight, a concealed approach (overgrown bushes etc) and limited or no lighting.

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Governor of Western Australia visits Geraldton

Geraldton was honoured to have Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC pay a visit this week. 

Following visits to numerous community organisations over the last two days, a civic reception for the Governor was held this evening at the new Multi Purpose Centre on Geraldton's foreshore, which included a traditional dance (see video below), and was attended by many community leaders. 

In a short speech to those in attendance, Her Excellency shared that she had come in a community role, to learn more about what is happening in the region. 

She will be visiting Mullewa and Mt Magnet tomorrow. 


The Governor of Western Australia is the representative of the Queen of Australia, Elizabeth II. 

The Governor performs constitutional, ceremonial and community functions, including:

  • presiding over the Executive Council;
  • proroguing and dissolving the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council;
  • issuing writs for elections; and
  • appointing Ministers, Judges, Magistrates and Justices of the Peace.

Furthermore, all Bills passed by the Parliament of Western Australia require the Governor's signature before they become Acts and pass into law. (Wikipedia)

Kerry Sanderson succeeded Malcolm McCusker in October 2014.

Wildflowers in bloom in the Mid West

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5 reasons you should keep getting the Geraldton Guardian

Newspaper sales have fallen dramatically around Australia in recent years, and our local Guardian has not been immune to the changes in how we all consume content. 

Even though Everything Geraldton may compete in some ways with the Geraldton Guardian, I honestly believe Geraldton is better served if said newspaper continues does well. 

Here are some of the reasons I believe you will benefit from buying our local paper.  


1. Public notices

They may be the most boring part of the paper, but I think they're the most important.

Why?

When a local government WANTS to get the word out about something, they will send a press release or public notice to all media, usually including Everything Geraldton. 

I'm grateful for this. EG wants to help locals stay informed about what's happening in their community. Many people who never read the paper, including young people, are now far more connected and informed.

Sometimes the City will even pay Everything Geraldton to promote or publish something. This too is very helpful for us in terms of paying our staff and continuing operating. We think we're pretty good at getting information out to the Geraldton public. And we're super grateful for support from the CGG. 

But when the council HAS to put something out to the public, but doesn't necessarily WANT a lot of feedback, I've noticed they just purchase an ad in the public notices section of a paper. 

They are legally obligated to do this much of the time.

While I'm sure there's nothing malicious happening behind the scenes, I do believe that for much of the general public, only putting a public notice in a newspaper essentially makes it invisible. I don't think I know anyone under the age of 35 who even buys the paper with any regularity. 

Here's a recent example. I've seen no hoo-ha or press release about it, despite it potentially having a massive impact on our city. 

There were a number of complaints when the Jaffle Shack opened on the foreshore, saying that others weren't given the opportunity to put a business on the most prime piece of real estate in Geraldton. Now the city can technically say they have given everyone the opportunity. All you had to do was be one of the few people that buy the Guardian twice a week and always checked the public notices section. 

In fact, each time there's a public outcry about a decision the city makes, I have heard: "We published a public notice in a newspaper and very few people responded."

So until the laws change to better reflect how people actually get information in 2016, it's incumbent upon us, the general public, to keep an eye on the public notices in our local papers. 


2. Journalists.

The Geraldton Guardian employs a small team of journalists who put effort into chasing up stories. 

It's no secret that journalism isn't exactly a growing industry, but it will probably survive for the foreseeable future. Even though it's not the highest paying career, it can lead to other fulfilling professions. 

The Geraldton Guardian has a good track record of giving young journalists a start and helping them get their uni degree. I personally know a couple of people who are doing well in other careers now, who started off at the Guardian. Had they not had the support of the local paper in their youth, they may have struggled somewhat more. 


3. Geraldton needs multiple media voices

I admit I'm extremely inconsistent when it comes to reading the paper. Or rather, I'm consistently terrible at it. 

I will try harder after writing this article.

Three years ago I knew I wanted local content in a digital format, but no-one was going to do it in Geraldton. So instead of complaining, I started a business doing just that. But The goal of Everything Geraldton was not to replace other the media completely, but to be another voice.

I don't think a community is well served if there is only one media voice. If you piss off the wrong person, you can essentially be cut off from having your say. 

Fortunately, this isn't the case in Geraldton.

We have Everything Geraldton, which is independant and I'm obviously an advocate for. There's the Geraldton Guardian/Mid West Times, who have been around for 100+ years and are backed by Seven West. There's a talented and creative team over at the ABC, who publish great stuff. And there's a few radio stations. 

Having more media publications means a more diverse voice, and fewer newsworthy items are likely to slip through the cracks. It also gives advertisers more choices and opportunities to promote their products and services. 


4. Responsible people at the helm

I know a couple of people who work at the Geraldton Guardian in the editorial team, and from what I know of them, I do believe that they care about the people of Geraldton. 

It's not very common to have people who care so much about the community in charge of local media. Often the agenda to simply sell more papers at the cost of sensationalising everything wins out over the mandate to serve the community by printing the facts. 

Anita Kirkbright is the current editor, and I've dealt with her in other capacities in the past. I've read several of her articles over the last year or two, and she certainly seems to have a desire to surface encouraging stories from the Mid West. It's a refreshing change from the usual negativity that seems to fill our Twitter and Facebook feeds. 

That's not to say I agree with every publishing decision the Guardian makes, but for the time being I think it's well above par. 


5. It's not too big

I'm pressed for time. I don't sit down and read the paper to alleviate boredom. I know reading the paper was a favourite pastime for our Granddads. But I have a million things to occupy me that are more interesting than a newspaper. And when something big happens I will probably hear about it well before the paper comes out anyway. 

So when I do read the local paper, I want to get through it as quickly as possible. 

I have listened to complaints for about 8 years now about how thin the Guardian is. But looking at it as someone who mostly reads content online, I consider thinness a positive. 

When someone "reads" the paper, they don't actually read very much. You scan through the headlines until something stands out, and you end up reading about 1 and a half articles. 

What you leave with is the knowledge that you haven't missed anything important that may affect you, your business, or your family.

And with a world of information now accessible through our smartphones, we don't need our local papers to try and be all things to all people, publishing all manner of lifestyle articles that we may or may not be interested in. They can just give us important local content, and we can follow our particular interests through apps, social media, websites, podcasts, YouTube etc. 


In conclusion, my vision of the future of media in Geraldton doesn't involve a winner take all outcome as was the case in the past, but a diverse range of voices, each serving the community and playing a part in our daily lives. I hope the Geraldton Guardian is a part of that future. 


Note: No one from the Geraldton Guardian had any involvement with this article.

 

 

TAB sale: Minister admits privatisation could see electronic gaming machines outside Crown Perth - ABC

Pokies everywhere causes so many social problems in the eastern states. If this happens, it's pretty clear how much the Liberal government care about our communities. 

Get on the phone to Ian Blayney and let him know what you think.  

Click here to read full story.  

Stories of Geraldton - They’re not lucky to have us, it’s us who are the lucky ones because they’ve made our lives whole

I always make a point of never making the children feel like they have to be grateful, because they shouldn’t be. It’s a child’s right to have a fantastic life so they should never feel the need to thank me. When people think of foster care they think of these damaged children but they don’t see the beautiful moments they’re going to have and the family bond that will grow. There’s a lot of special moments and a lot of laughter. Every single one of them have contact with extended family and they’ve now become our family. Our family tree, I don’t even know where it goes anymore.

We aren’t special, we have the same things happen in our family as other families, just on a bigger scale. We fail every single day, so we are just very much normal parents and we’re still learning, we never stop learning. I’m so proud of the people my kids are becoming. They’re so kind. They’ve got such a strong bond with each other. Even though they’re all from different families the way they are with each other, you know they’re from our family. They’re not lucky to have us, it’s us who are the lucky ones because they’ve made our lives whole.

Part 2 of 2.

#StoriesOfGeraldton

- In the footsteps of Humans of New York, Everything Geraldton has been publishing stories from every day locals in our community. If you know of someone we should be speaking to, get in touch.

This woman's Spalding house has been destroyed by neighbouring vandals

What follows is a letter sent to several government bodies and departments by a home owner at her wits' end. Natalie's home in Spalding has been damaged extensively, and as you will read, she has become caught between a rock and a hard place.  

We have included responses sent to Natalie as provided. 

We have also spoken to Natalie in person, and she tells us that despite the responses from various departments, she's still without a clue as to what to do, and has been advised personally by many of the officials she spoke with that there is no point in fixing the property as it will likely be damaged again. 

There is also a letter from another home owner on Strickland Street to the Housing Authority regarding one of their properties. 


I am writing to you all about my property at 70 Strickland Street Spalding, Geraldton. I bought this house off dad after my nanna died in approx. 2000. It is the only home I have ever had – will have.

It has been rented out mostly as I had to move from Geraldton for work. It was a great little house, great little suburb. 

Now it is overrun by ferals. It is now the Bronx of Gero, is it not? 

The DoHW built units next door. It was okay for the few first years. The units were promoted as accommodation for the elderly, given they a 1-2 bedrooms, 'we will choose good tenants, it will all be okay' the residents of the area where told. 

Things have changed. My last tenant at 70 Strickland had been there for about 2-3 years. Beginning of 2015 the tenant did not renew her lease due to the anti-social behaviour by the tenants living [in the] units and ‘gangs’ of feral youth, children and adults who move in and out of these units and across the suburb of Spalding. 

After the property had been vacated on the 08/04/15 I advised by my real estate agent (who had taken a potential tenant to view the place) that the house had been vandalised. I mean totally ruined. Stole the air con, smashed window, ripped out the light fittings, ripped out the blinds, holes in the walls, front door removed now missing, fence pushed over, they stole the rain water tank for Christ sakes. $10,000 worth of damage not to mention the loss of rent …..and this was just the start.

Got the house up to speed. Nearly ready to be rented gain – not that I am confident someone will rent it as its now in the middle of a war zone. 18th June – more damage, broken windows, entry screen door busted, more light fittings pulled out.

End of June 2015 they have now stolen the fake security alarms, ripped out and damaged all the new security screens, broken more windows. More damaged walls and fittings. The house is now boarded up and the graffiti is out of control. Started to get it fixed…again. (oh yes another report to useless police).

August 2015 – more damage lighting has been pulled out, bedroom walls and window frames kicked out, lots of wiring damage, cloth lines vandalized. They are making holes in the roof – this is letting moisture in! It’s just not stopping, no sooner than it gets fixed it’s another thing. Christ they are ripping through boarded up windows, they are ripping out security screens. 

12th august 2015 the real estate [agent] said they did not want to manage the property anymore – too much work, too hard. I am reeling, I am actually physically sick and come Christmas time I am despairing as to what I am going to do. I am now working just to keep my head above water to pay my mortgage and deal with the costs of repairs that insurance will not cover, the insurance excess. 

This was always going to be the home where I retired to, where I would die. Wondered if maybe I could build out the back. Mum needs somewhere to live, she is getting on in years. It’s not much, but I am a single middle age woman with little future prospects. But I just don’t know how this is ever going to happen now. I keep breathing and keep going.  The work is done again. 

I need a tenant in there to make the house more secure, but no real estate wants to manage the property. Regardless of the ongoing work the place is looking very sad and sorry. I can’t get a tenant until this stuff stops. It won’t stop until I get a tenant who can defend the house and themselves (as if they should have to). It is a vicious circle.

By the end of the year 2015 I am paralyzed numb and words cannot convey how distressed I am. Every email and phone call makes me want to vomit. I need to get the house up to speed again. I am desperately trying to find work in Gero just so I can go live in the house and try to do something about this even if I am at physical risk. But there is no work in Geraldton – I am stuck here working to try to pay the costs.

22/01/16 informed again the house had been trashed, that this time the damage is the worst it has ever been bad. All that repair work is meaningless….again. They even pulled out the plumbing and electrical power box. What hope have I got of any protection for my sad trashed little house. I feel so let down by the Geraldton authorities. This year insurance company very nearly declined to renew my insurance.

I note in March 2016 that the police are dealing with riots in Spalding.  The local gossip is that the police are even scared of the ferals. People report that they are living next door, across the road from drug dealers, the area is out of control.

The house and its surroundings is trashed with syringes all the garden and house which is now the new injecting room in Gero. When confronted they just walk next door into the units.

Residents in the area and the street are saying they can’t say or won’t report or do anything as they are too fearful of retribution. I cant ‘substantiate’ as I am not there – there is no one in the house to ‘substantiate’. What is even the point of reporting.

Police and DoHW shrug it off, say yeh its all too bad but they can’t do anything without evidence. Get the evidence, press charges, prosecute then they can help. Right – how the hell do I do that?  And I can guarantee the court will not take into account the history of my vandalised house for the fist offender charged. No one will ever be made accountable for the house.

I have worked in the NFP sector for the past 20 years. Do not talk to me about support programs, community responses, counseling, for these people. Do not talk to me about how disadvantaged these people are. Do not talk to me about the fact that “it’s just a few bad people’, most are good. I do not care anymore. Never again, will I work with these people, helping to build families,  support them to work through their grief, try to keep them out of prison, help in any way I can, work on their drug use, their perpetration of violence and sex abuse, their apathy and their dismal lives. 

I am not a violent person but all I want to do is make them feel the hurt I feel. Even though I know that this is illogical and wrong. What sort of person am I turning into?

And of course it has not stopped. In March 2016 there was more damage – to the floors, and someone has thrown plaster around. 

And of course and then there is more…….now to top it offthey have actually put a hole through the brick wall ….and done more damage. I am so scared – this hole in the ceiling is bad structural damage. Winter is coming.

A fence is not going to stop this. Security alarms are not going to stop this. Security screens are not going to stop this. Repairing the house is not going to stop this. Nothing is going to stop this.  I have had no choice but to stop all actions to affect repairs and make the house safe and livable. I have no choice but to do what I am doing now – writing to you.

Please can someone tell me what to do. The house is now so unsafe. What happens when the council tells me I have to pull it down or I have to do something about the state of the house? What do I tell them? What can I do? I have a mortgage for house that effectively does not exist. I am so trapped. Why do I have to have my human rights breached like this? 

I challenge you to go have a look at the house. Do not judge me for being a bad homeowner – look at it and realize who is responsible for this. I challenge you to go do this when the ferals are roaming the streets.  

This is not just me. Have a look at the house next door at 68 Strickland – it’s pretty much going down the same way. 

God knows who the ferals are. Some are living next door in the DoHW units. Some are ‘visiting’ people in the units. Some of them are just roaming in packs across Spalding and Gero,

I would like you to ask the DOHW (Housing Authority)

  • What have they done [if] anything over the past 2 years to manage their tenants?
  • How many people are living in the units?
  • Where are the dynamic and static security measures they have put in place that can monitor what is going on at the units and the surrounding homes that are been attacked and violated
  • How residents can and should make complaints – regardless of your more “streamlined complaints” mechanisms, when they live literally in fear of doing so?
  • How can incidents of disruptive behaviour be “substantiated” as dangerous when there is no one person who is holding residents by the hand to make reports as they are too fearful to do so?
  • Do I have to go on the dole, move to Geraldton, live in a house that would be considered unfit for human accommodation,  but risk my physical and safety of my property to “substantiated”, get evidence, prosecute and lay charges?
  • How do I identify individuals and a group of feral and rabid drug users when I am stuck here in Kalgoorlie unable to relocate because I have to spend the majority of my wages on paying a mortgage for a house that I can’t rent out and have to deal with the constant vandalism?
  • How are you adhering to the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 so Members of can be entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their own homes?
  • What level of case management is given to the residents of the units?

 

I would like you to ask the Police

  • What are they doing to in terms of investigating and responding to the break-ins and damage at 70 Strickland street over the course of the year?
  • How many times have undertaken forensic procedures at 70 Strickland street?
  • What are they doing to in terms of investigating and responding to the drug use not only at 70 Strickland but also at the DoHW units and in the suburb generally?
  • What have they done about the stolen motorbikes and other items that have been left at 70 Strickland and in the surrounding area?
  • What have done about the anti-social behaviour in the area?
  • On what level do the police think it is appropriate to tell me there is nothing the police service can do? That the community needs to respond (and be responsible) when the majority of the ‘community’ are the perpetrators and offenders, and the rest of the community are the victims who live in fear of retribution, who have no capacity, interpersonal or legal power and authority to effect change?
  • If telling homeowners that there is nothing they can do and to sell their homes is useful, proactive or practical given I could not give away the land, the house is trashed and if someone were going to purchase I would have to sell at a loss and still owe the bank?

Can you please ask the City of Geraldton

  • What is the council’s response to this matter, how they view and do they care about the fact that Spalding / Strickland street has become essentially war zone?
  • Why I / homeowners in the areas should pay rates for the privilege of been abused and victimised?
  • Why the council does not recognise that not addressing such issues does not in any way assist with falling property prices, that people increasingly need to move out, and will not move into the area this situation only reinforces bad reputations, and increases the stress already existing upon a economically depressed city?
  • What breaches of local government by-laws have been activated by this situation and what are they doing about them?

What is going to give here?

 My name is Natalie


Response from Ian Blayney's office:

Dear Natalie,

Ian has just been contacted by Minister Harvey’s office to advise that the Minister has personally responded to you, following his representation on your behalf.

He hopes the Minister has addressed your concerns and that the strategies being put in place go some way to resolving the problems you are having. However, he also hopes that if these fail that you will contact him to advise.

Ian has asked me to thank you for bringing this matter to his attention. Please don’t hesitate to contact his office for any further assistance.

Kind regards

Isabelle Scott
Electorate Officer to:
Ian Blayney MLA
Member for Geraldton
Shop 2, 5 Chapman Road
GeraldtonWA6530
Tel: 08 9964 1640
Fax: 08 9964 2982
Email: Isabelle.scott@mp.wa.gov.au


Response from Mayor

Good afternoon Ms XXXX

Your personal circumstances have been discussed with the Police at my regular meetings as well as with local members of Parliament. As a City we can only take action to remedy graffiti and damage to City property. On a more macro level we are working with Police to develop strategies to reduce youth crime and antisocial behaviour including the recruitment of a youth crime prevention officer, who it is hoped can target the known trouble causers and divert them to more positive activities.

Regards 

Mayor Shane Van Styn FCP


 

Further update from Natalie:

I spoke to the ranger at the council this week who suggested that that the report speaking to the above strategies in the council's domain will at a minimum take 6-7 mths to budget and/or implement. Mostly likely years to see any result. I heard that from her that they are also looking at using prison programs to assist in matters such as graffiti clean-up given the council states it is unable to assist with private landowners. I don’t feel that the time frame will assist. Given I have also worked with prisoner re-entry I am also uncertain how they are going to fund and get this program off the ground. This is all nice in theory. 

I know this is not about ME – they don’t know me – I am sure that if they did they might care. I would be more than willing to speak to the perpetrators and provide a victim impact statement – if they gave a shit - something they cannot do because they are so emotionally scared from their own abuse they do not have the capacity to empathise. 

Anyway...

Verbally both the police and the council staff are expressing deepest sympathy but also strongly recommending that I do not undertake any form of repair as they feel it will just be trashed again. I have not asked, yet feel that getting this in writing would not occur.

I need to stress that there is so much kindness out there – people are horrified and appreciative of the issue.

However also some relief that it is not them.

I have not heard back from the MP’s other than the whatever email from Ian. I have never had any feedback from DoHW.


Dear Ms XXXX

Please find attached response on behalf of Minister Harvey MLA in regard to your correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

Office of the Deputy Premier; Minister for Police; Road Safety; Training and Workforce Development; Women’s Interests 11th Floor, Dumas House, 2 Havelock Street, West Perth, WA 6005

T: (08) 6552 5900 | F: (08) 6552 5901

minister.harvey@dpc.wa.gov.au | www.premier.wa.gov.au


Response by Natalie to Liza Harvey

Dear Liza Harvey

Thank you for the written reply from your office about the damage to my property at 70 Spalding Street (as attached).

It is appropriate that a response to the anti-social behaviour in Spalding is now been considered. 

Yes, I was “appreciative of the information provided” by Senior Sergeant Bird and his contact. 

However, no matter the genuine sympathy expressed the situation is still what it is – dire.

Given: 

1. The strategies proposed, particularly any beautification of the suburb and other community based responses are going to take time, that is months to implement, 

2. Such strategies will not necessarily equate to an immediate and/or future cessation of the problem, 

3. None of the strategies mention specifically assist in my resolving the problem at 70 Strickland,

4. None of the proposed actions alleviates the fact that I am still living in fear every day, still sick to the stomach with worry over this problem.

As my house is not CGG property I take it to presume that the:

· “Graffiti on CGG property is to be treated as a priority task and removed immediately” – will not apply to my home?

· “Deployment of maintenance crews to immediately repair any damage to city infrastructure and property” – will not apply to my home?

Clearly while paying the mortgage, water rates, land rates, insurance and the other cost associated with the house I am still left with the need to have some sort of resolution to my immediate problem of addressing the vandalisation of the home.

1. Even if I had sufficient funds to repair the current damage what sort of assistance or guarantees is there that the house will be safe from further damage?

2. Even if I managed to get it repaired where am I going to find a real estate agent willing to manage the property ?

3. Even if both of these issues are addressed how am I going to find a tenant who will be willing to rent the property?

I am still yet to put in claim in for the last lot of damage to the insurance company because I am petrified that they will cancel my policy. 

I have CC’d in other authorities in this letter as I have not had a response from either the CGG or the Department of Housing to my initial email stating the damage. 

A copy of this email I sent is attached ……just in case anyone lost it.

As it now appears that state and local departments are communicating with one another, at one of your next meetings if a mutual discussion around ways of how my current circumstance can be addressed it would be appreciated.

I am not trying to be difficult (I am in desperate circumstances), I do appreciate the fact that some sort of action has been taken to address the macro issues.

I am glad that the people living the area and the suburb itself might have some sort of reprieve in the future.

However - I need some assistance as I just do not have the social support, interpersonal resources and/or the financial capacity to deal with this on my own.

For your consideration

Kind Regards, 

Natalie


Dear Ms XXX

The City acknowledges and thanks you for your correspondence in regard to the above matter.  

Please find attached the City’s response to your email of 15 May 2016.

Should you require any further information or clarification on this matter, please contact Neryl Beer at the City on (08) 9956 6720.

Kind regards
Amy Zinetti
Personal Assistant to the Director Development & Community Services


Everything Geraldton obtained a copy of a letter written to the Housing Authority by another resident on Strickland Street, regarding number 72, the property next door to the destroyed home. 

16-05-2016
Housing Authority
201 Marine Tce
Geraldton WA 6530

Attention: Geraldton Regional Manager of Housing Services, XXXX

RE:  72 Strickland St, Spalding, City of Greater Geraldton

I am writing you to bring your attention to the state of the above Homeswest property.

As the owner of XX Strickland St, I have witnessed firsthand the antisocial behavior from the tenants of this property. The drinking and drug use at the front of the property has become a daily & nightly norm that has resulted in the demise of the adjoining properties as well as the Homeswest property itself.

I will not go into all the details of this antisocial behavior as I know the local police have that information on file. Please don’t tell me that the police should or are going to fix this as it’s a pattern behavior that they can’t stop. I also now realize that it’s nearly impossible to get any Homeswest tenants removed, despite a genuine need for it.

My question is:  Why has the property been left in such a poor state for so long? I have been witnessing vandalism and graffiti for many months now with nothing being repaired (these are architecturally designed homes, surely they deserve at the very least to be maintained.) 

The properties next to and around 72 Strickland are also being destroyed. Graffiti is everywhere in the area, evidence of drug use, property damage including house brick walls being ripped out!? (It closely resembles a 3rd world war zone!) This is directly due to the behavior of some of the H.W. tenants and along with degeneration of this particular property. I am trying very hard not to go on and on but it is all so very unacceptable and SHOCKING! Please see attached pictures.

On Wed, 4th May, I made a complaint to DHW with ‘xxxx’ (Perth) who took my details and told me I would be contacted by a representative, no one phoned back. I made another attempt one week later Wed, 11th May, and spoke to xxxx (Geraldton) who referred me to the housing authorities ‘Housing Manager’  [Redacted - not current person looking after this property], I have phoned her and left call back messages, still to this day….waiting for her reply.

We expect the graffiti covering the front walls and driveway of 72 Strickland be removed and all damaged fences, reticulation boxes, landscape, letterboxes, etc… to be repaired. We are forced to put up with your tenants unacceptable antisocial behavior but we don’t have to put up with the complete demise of government property along with our neighborhood.

I request the housing authorities ‘Housing Manager’ [Redacted - not current person looking after this property]  who I’m told is responsible for this property, fulfill her job responsibilities. If she can’t then get someone who can.

[Name Withheld] 

Owners of: X Strickland Street, Spalding WA 

 

8 photos that remind you why Gero is such a brilliant place to live


1. The water lyfe!

Shared by @_beyondsight_ G Town SUP boarders #everythinggeraldton #geraldton

A photo posted by Everything Geraldton (@everythinggeraldton) on


2. Gero punches above it's weight when it comes to caring for people of all levels of ability. 


3. Fishing!


4. Thriving arts and culture community


5. World class marine services industry region

Geraldton Esplanade Wednesday Arvo #dji #everythinggeraldton #phantom4 #westernaustralia

A photo posted by Beyond Sight | Geraldton | WA (@_beyondsight_) on


6. Best kitesurfing location in the world


7. The. Abrolhos. Islands.


8. The outdoors!


200kg of meth seized following seizure of suspicious boat in Geraldton

Police will be holding a press conference later today in Perth regarding drug seizures related to the suspicious boat that came into Geraldton earlier this month.

It's being reported by ABC that up to 200kg of meth has been seized from an international drug syndicate following raids on homes in Perth on Saturday, in connection with the men arrested.

Details of the case and those charged has been suppressed by the courts up to now.

Around midday on 2 May 2016, some Everything Geraldton readers spotted the suspicious boat in Geraldton's port, and a number of men, pictured below, who according to onlookers "appeared foreign" were seen being questioned by authorities, before being taken away.

Police later confirmed 8 Chinese men with no entry visas for Australia had been arrested and placed in immigration detention, but would not comment on their investigations. 

The boat remained in Geraldton's port for several days while it was searched and contents from the boat removed.  

 The suspicious boat

The suspicious boat

 The men who were arrested  

The men who were arrested  

 The boat that took the men away  

The boat that took the men away  

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Here's why you should check out the Geraldton Visitor Centre - Video

We had a chat with Beck Tuesley from the Geraldton Visitor Centre about what they offer both locals and tourists. If you haven't checked it out yet, we suggest you wander in, grab a coffee, and have a look around.

How the City of Greater Geraldton ranks in comparison to councils from around WA

'Business News' recently put out their 2016 Book of Lists. If you can get your hands on a copy it's a fascinating read. They also have the latest data online for subscribers. One of the areas they cover is local governments. 

We were curious to see how the City of Greater Geraldton compared to other councils around WA in different categories. 

Here's how Greater Geraldton ranks in several categories, as at the end of the last financial year:


By Total Revenue

16th with $76,090,000. That's more than Fremantle.

The highest was City of Stirling with $207,440,000


By Area

32nd with 9,889 km2.

The largest local government area is Shire of East Pilbara with 371,696km2.


By Population

15th, with 41,087.

The largest is the City of Stirling with 227,367 followed by City of Wanneroo with 188,000.


By Total Rates Levied

15th, with $39,460,000. That's slightly less that Karratha, and a tad more than Fremantle. 

The highest was City of Stirling with $122,282,000.


By Profit and Loss

According to figures published by Business News, City of Greater Geraldton ran a profit of $4,350,000 last fiscal year, the 30th highest in the state. The City of Karratha was highest with $108,670,000.


By Total Assets

Geraldton was 11th with $888,280,000. 


By Total Liabilities

5th highest in the state, with $54.32m

This is up from $37.6m the previous year. 


By Total Staff

20th, with 334.


By Number of Dwellings

19th, with 15,659


By Number of Electors

17th, with 23,696 people. 


Interesting notes:

The City of Perth only has 10,385 electors, with a population of 21,860. 

The Shire of Chapman Valley has 774 electors and a population of 1,174.

The City of Stirling is by far the most populous local government area in WA at 227,367 and has over 92,000 dwellings. 


5 things Geraldton job seekers should do

Look, the economy around Australia isn't cranking like it was. China isn't paying us $200 a tonne for our dirt any more. So there's less money flowing downstream through everyone's wallets and there are less jobs on the table.  

But there's plenty of folks who could do a few simple things to help themselves when it comes to finding a job. 


1. Fix up your God damn Facebook profile. 

Honestly, every employer will do a search on Facey to stalk you before hiring you. If they're confronted with profile pics showing how cool you think being drunk is, questions about where to get the best weed in town, and bitching that shows you have no decorum, I can guarantee your resume will go straight in the bin. 

Hot tip: Check out the "View As" option to see what others see. 


2. Take a job. Any job. 

When I interview people, I always value someone who is doing SOMETHING over someone who's been sitting on the dole for 2 years waiting for the perfect job to come along.

In 2008 I couldn't find a job in my chosen profession in Geraldton. I couldn't leave town. So I took whatever job I could get, which happened to be at a servo. I scrubbed toilets and cleaned diesel residue for the next 9 months. I didn't LOVE it, but eventually I found other work. 

I am saddened when I meet people who won't take a job they think is beneath them, but are fine going on the dole.


3. Do some study. Get a qualification. 

The economy is becoming more and more automated. Unskilled labour is going to increasingly be done by autonomous machines, and will continue to move overseas. Invest some time in learning a skill that employers will find useful. We have a small but growing university right here in town, and a very bustling tafe, Durack Institute of Technology. Get in touch with them and see what they have on offer. If a Sudanese refugee who doesn't speak English as well as you can put the hard yards in and become a chemist (link), you can hit the books too.  


4. Network with the right people. 

I meet a lot of employers who know they could use some extra staff, but hate the process of hiring someone so much that they just keep putting it off. But when they meet someone they know and like, who they know is looking for work, they're more than happy to offer them a job. So start meeting the right people. That might mean joining a public speaking group, or getting involved with a local charity, joining Pollinators, getting along to a Rotary meeting, or going to the Council meetings, or whatever. Use your imagination. But the go-getters and business owners of this city aren't going to knock on your door and ask to hang out with you watching Netflix. Get out and meet them. 


5. Apply for everything. 

Subscribe to the Everything Geraldton Jobs email (link). Keep an eye on Seek. Hand out your resume. Post in the Employment Wanted section on EG (link). Apply for any job you can legally do. And don't wait until a job is advertised; As per tip 4, plenty of business owners never even get that far. 


Bonus tip: Be positive. 

Nothing hurts like rejection. It attacks your psyche, it makes you question your self worth, it makes it hard to get out of bed and try again. But do whatever you have to do to get your head right, otherwise your own thoughts will kill your chances of finding work. Find whatever works for you...  pray, meditate, talk to encouraging friends, listen to a motivational speaker. These things may not get you a job directly, but they may make the difference between an employer thinking they like your energy, vs them thinking they want nothing to do with you. 

Trees causing damage to carpark to be replaced

COMMUNITY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Removal of trees on Carpark #3 - Anzac Terrace

The City of Greater Geraldton wishes to advise it will be removing the trees in Carpark #3 on Anzac Terrace on 8 and 9 March 2016.

Although the City is always reluctant to remove trees as they add to the liveability of our community, the trees located along Durlacher Street have caused considerable damage to the carpark. They will be replaced with trees more suitable to this type of urban environment.

The tree removal is part of the carpark renewal works being undertaken in Carpark #3.  Although the City will endeavour to keep the carpark open, it may be closed for short periods of time.

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to exercise caution and obey all warning signs and directions from authorised City personnel and contractors.

The City apologises for any inconvenience these works may cause.

If you have any queries regarding the renewal works please contact Graham Smith Reserves Supervisor on 08 9956 6600 or email council@cgg.wa.gov.au.

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