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Will anyone fix the social issues in the City of Perth?
My office is on William Street in the City of Perth. In many respects, it's a great location. It's close to the main train station, and strolling distance from the ever-growing range of facilities and attractions in the city hub.
But it's also a disgusting place to have an office -- and as far as I can see, no one wants to do anything about it.
But homelessness is not the issue I want to focus on.
At lunchtime today -- when I entered the driveway at the side of our building off William St, heading towards our office carpark -- a middle-aged man ambled down it while urinating. Sadly, this was not a one-off event. I spend very little time in our driveway, yet I stumble across at least one person a week urinating there openly.
As far as I can see, despite security cameras belonging to the City of Perth, no one in authority wants to change this practise.
About once a week, we'll find cars parked in the thru-way access to our secure carpark, all belonging to shoppers and trades people working in the area who see know harm in blocking us in or out.
Despite the fact that they have no right to park there, and in spite of the rates paid by building and landowners, nobody on the Perth City Council wants to do anything about this. Phone calls to the City of Perth rarely, if ever, produce results.
It seems that landowners and ratepayers have few rights in this regard -- and the City of Perth finds it all just too hard.
There are ‘derelicts’ (for want of a better word) all around the area, very few of whom are homeless. They enter buildings and offices to steal valuables, decide to occupy lobbies for a nap, and vandalise our lifts and stairwells.
While we can call the police, they are generally slow to respond and nothing much changes after they have left. Not much is being done to prevent such issues.
Both alleys bordering our office are packed with people smoking, blowing poison into the air when my staff walk by and dropping their butts in the ground -- alongside the syringes discarding by those injecting drugs.
In the evening, you can hear these drug-addled users yelling, screaming and fighting in the alleys, which are used as thoroughfares for a number of people, including school kids.
Then there are the beggars. ''Got a dollar'' is heard so frequently outside our building that it has become a joke in the office. People going about their daily business are frequently confronted by people asking for/demanding money or a cigarette -- and getting abused when they don't hand it over.
Louts of all ages and genders hang around the streets while behaving in a threatening manner towards women in particular, and people in general. Nothing seems to be done until all hell breaks loose and a fight breaks out.
Another issue of increasing concern is the large volume of peak-hour commuters surging out of the underground train station and taking up 80 percent of the footpath in the mornings, waiting for a bus and in so doing blocking the passage of people going about their business.
Then there are the kamikaze buses -- pulling in and out with little regard for other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians -- possibly because the car drivers and cyclists have little regard for them.
The City of Perth is looking prettier in terms of the presentation of buildings and the planting of trees. This is a credit to all involved, including the City of Perth and the State Government. But they are easy issues.
The refusal of both the State Government and City of Perth to address the tougher social issues should concern us all.
This area of Perth is a disgrace, and no one seems to have the gumption to address it. Yes, the politicians will discuss the problem -- and give a host of excuses as to why it is difficult to address -- but no one seems to have the will to actually do anything.
None of us working or shopping in the city should accept these excuses. If it is too hot in the kitchen, they should just get out!!