Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas welcomes reopening of women’s shelter

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More than six months after it closed its doors amid a tense political row, the Safe Night Space for vulnerable women escaping violence in Perth, Western Australia is expected to reopen within days.

The Safe Night Space is a unique program designed to provide critical shelter for vulnerable women, including those escaping domestic violence.

Ruah Community Services, who previously ran the service from the Rod Evans Community Centre in East Perth, sought temporary approval from the City of Perth to use the James Street premises for continuation of the program.

Under legislative powers, the proposal was called-in for Ministerial determination following the City of Perth’s decision to force a number of conditions on the facility.

After careful consideration through the proper process, Minister Sanderson resolved on Friday, June 21 to approve the application including varied conditions.

safe night space western australia
Advocates said the closure of the service would put vulnerable women at further risk of harm. Photo: ABC News / Keane Bourke.

The shelter will now run 7pm to 7am seven days a week, providing women with basic services including laundry, toilets and showers, but its approval is only for 30 months.

A proposed attendance curfew of 10pm has been removed; instead, clients will be encouraged to visit between 7pm and 10pm for planned visits. Emergency cases will be accepted after 10pm.

The requirement for a security guard to be at the premises during operational hours was also removed. Ruah’s security staff will hold hourly patrols.

This positive news comes after the City of Perth closed the Safe Night Space at the Rod Evans Centre in East Perth last November once its two-year trial came to an end.

After posting on X about the closure of the centre daily for the past 18 days, Mr Zempilas said he was “pleased to see this important service will be reopening.”

Source: Perth Now.

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