Wittenoom’s last resident evicted without compassion from WA Lands Minister, daughter says & More Latest News

The daughter of the last resident in Wittenoom — the positioning of a former blue asbestos mine — says she hopes different households do not need to undergo the stress attributable to her 80-year-old mom’s eviction. 

Aileen Thomas mentioned authorities arrived on her doorstep in Port Hedland on Thursday, to tell her that her mom Lorraine was being eliminated from her house that day.

“She was driven up by someone she didn’t know and was confused and distraught at what was happening to her house,” she mentioned.

The WA authorities has been buying the ultimate properties within the de-gazetted city within the Pilbara since March, with plans to demolish all remaining buildings underneath the Wittenoom Closure Act.

Ms Thomas and her mom, Lorraine, had began to maneuver their issues out of the home and she or he mentioned they only wanted a pair extra days to organize to depart and say goodbye.

“We would have been out of the house by Monday,” Ms Thomas mentioned.

A mature woman with a straw hat stands in front of her front door.
Lorraine Thomas was moved to Port Hedland by authorities.(Supplied)

She was disillusioned with how State Lands Minister John Carey dealt with her mom’s eviction.

“I just hope that he doesn’t have anyone that he cares about, if he ever gets into this position, where he has to do something similar,” she mentioned.

“I just thought a little bit more compassion would have gone a long way.”

Masked strangers eliminated Lorraine

Megan Woolford was passing by way of Wittenoom on Thursday throughout Lorraine’s eviction.

She was requested by officers to remain away from the 80-year-old’s property, and was parked up the highway from Lorraine’s home.

She mentioned she noticed a minimum of eight folks there to take away the resident, with others at a decontamination website exterior of city.

A man in a bright orange hazmat suit stand next to a piece of machinery unloading chemicals.
Megan Woolford says the folks evicting Lorraine wore full physique protecting gear, much like this.(Supplied: Jake Hamilton/file photograph)

“There was a white van filled with people parked right outside the front of her house, there was also an ambulance two, maybe three, houses away,” she mentioned.

“They must have been concerned about how an 80-year-old lady was going to react to what was happening.

“They had been in protecting gear, their heads had been lined, their faces had been absolutely lined.”

Ms Woolford believed the sudden arrival of masked strangers would have been very distressing for Ms Thomas.

“There had been two males of their full protecting gear, one went one facet of the property and the opposite one went across the different facet of the property,” she mentioned.

“I do not suppose I’d need my grandmother or member of the family to be handled that means.”

State authorities says eviction was ‘voluntary’

A man wearing a suit and dark-framed glasses speaks at a media conference
Lands Minister John Carey has beforehand described vacationers who go to the realm as “idiotic”.(ABC News: James Carmody)

During the passing of the Wittenoom Closure Act, Lands Minister John Carey said the demolition of the town was key to protecting people from asbestos.

Mr Carey was unavailable to comment on Lorraine Thomas’ eviction. Instead, the ABC was issued with a statement from a state government spokesperson, which described Ms Thomas as having “voluntarily” vacated the premises.

“There is not any secure stage of publicity to asbestos, which is why the state authorities moved to cross the Wittenoom Closure Act 2022, with the intent to take away any remaining buildings within the city website, guaranteeing there can be nothing left to go to within the Wittenoom Asbestos Management Area,” they said.

“The remaining resident was granted an extension from 17 June, 2022 to 31 August, 2022 to vacate.

“The resident was subsequently issued with an eviction notice on 8 September and voluntarily vacated the premises.”

But daughter Aileen mentioned her mom was distraught and confused by her eviction.

In her view, her mom’s elimination was pointless.

“I still don’t see the point,” she mentioned.

“Regardless of anyone living there, there’s still going to be people going through the town, or the town site or the area.”


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