Big rally for Tuart Place

Supporters rallied on Wednesday against Tuart Place’s eviction.. Photo by Hannah Fitzhardinge

THE chair of Edmund Rice Community Services will fly to Perth early in November to meet with representatives from out-of-home care support service Tuart Place following outcry over its possible eviction.

The email from ERCS, an offshoot of the Christian Brothers and the registered owner of Tuart Place’s High Street home, came on Tuesday – the day before a rally of more than 100 people in front of the building, including communities minister Simone McGurk, Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge and Liberal senator Dean Smith, who told the crowd the eviction lacked justice and morality.

Tuart Place director Philippa White said they weren’t sure what ERCS director Helen Mahoney was planning to discuss, but were taking her visit as a positive sign.

“Maybe she wants to talk about sharing the building, which would be great,” Dr White said.

Dr White said the language used by the Christian Brothers in their media responses had taken a positive change recently, with mentions of helping to “find new premises” for Tuart Place being replaced with simple “collaborating”.

The Christian Brothers declined an offer from Tuart Place to buy the building at a greatly reduced value, but Dr White said they were also encouraged the bid wasn’t outright rejected. She said the Christian Brothers’ lawyer was going to go back to the Brothers for more instruction, though he did grumble that the campaign against the eviction was a little blackmailish.

Dr White was also pleased with the strong turn-out for the rally and its line-up of speakers.

Ms Fitzhardinge said the turnout was a strong message from the Fremantle community and beyond.

“It is completely unconscionable that the Christian Brothers would consider selling a place that has become the ‘home’ for people who suffered at the hands of people who should have been keeping them safe,” she said.

Sen Smith was appointed deputy chair of a joint standing committee for the implementation fo the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional abuse in July.


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