Business: It’s not fair

Chamber CEO Danicia Quinlan

FREMANTLE’S chamber of commerce has called for an end date to be set on Tent City “immediately” saying it “isn’t fair or reasonable” on businesses.

Earlier this week the Herald witnessed an agitated man from the camp enter real estate agency OneAgency next to the Fremantle Post Office, banging its glass door so violently the windows shook.

He abused two young staff members at the top of his voice before a handful of Fremantle council community safety officers escorted him out of the building.

The officers followed him up Market Street while he tore a rack of clothing from a neighbouring fashion boutique and threw it on the ground, then hurled around A-frame advertising signs from a number of businesses before turning out of sight into High Street.

Fremantle MP Simone McGurk said Il Cibo Cafe – her go-to caffeine fix just three doors down from her electorate office and across the road from Tent City – was suffering lost business as the camp’s residents were regularly congregating on a small garden wall beside its alfresco area and deterring customers.

Ms McGurk said Il Cibo wasn’t the only one letting her office know their patience was running out.

“Oh yeah, oh yeah – I could give you a list of people who are frustrated,” she said, before doing exactly that.

Chamber of commerce CEO Danicia Quinlan called on the McGowan government, its agencies, Fremantle council and homelessness charities to work together for an “immediate and co-ordinated approach” to winding up the camp.

“The Fremantle chamber does not support the camp established on the doorstep of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Quest Hotel and other businesses doing their best to navigate their way through an already difficult trading period.

“The camp is impacting on our local businesses in a very negative way.

“We don’t believe it an effective solution to the homeless challenge.

“We do need additional and comprehensive services to manage anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug dependency, homelessness and mental health issues within our city.

“We strongly encourage those keen to volunteer to look towards existing services to help meet this growing need.”

by STEVE GRANT

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