No racism in Moree?
So the mayor of Moree, Katrina Humphries says theres no racism in Moree, but agrees there is a housing shortage.
Back up. No racism in Moree? I’ve been out for the afternoon talking to people about if they have encountered racism in Moree and guess what? Every single Aboriginal person I spoke to had a story to tell. So I don’t know where Ms Humphries is getting her information from, but it certainly isn’t from the Aboriginal constituents in her electorate.
But this is a familiar refrain repeated over and over again in towns and cities across Australia where elected officials have a stock standard statement regarding racism. And that statement is ‘there is no racism’.
It is so easy for people who have never encountered racism to vehemently deny racism exists, even when it’s happening right under their very noses, like in real estate agencies for example.
And it is a racists stock in trade to turn the finger around and call someone who is pointing out racism a liar and I am sick to death of it. It erases mine and many other peoples experiences to nothing but ‘whingers and complainers’. Invalidating our experiences and causes psychological distress and an unwillingness to speak up when it happens again. And again. And again.
But I am done with that. I will always call out racism when I see it. Either against me or someone else, because by not doing so only gives racists the impetus to never examine their actions and a free pass to continue to diminish my people.
Getting back to the housing shortage in Moree I took a drive with a couple of friends and took some photographs of why this shortage may exist. You all should know by now I’m not exactly rolling in dough and have to move because this house is no longer affordable. Luckily my number came up at the Department of Housing. This is the house they offered me recently. The exact same house they offered me four years ago, when I was working and could say no because I could afford my exorbitant private rental and make rent without starving, I also said no because I knew there were people more desperate than me finance wise, and besides all that, it’s not a very nice area, the crime rate was extremely high and drugs were a major problem. I wrote all of this on my refusal of tenancy form, then they offered me a house which also had a high crime rate, a bad drug trafficking problem and was in incredible disrepair. Again I wrote all the reasons for my refusal and was moved back to the bottom of the list.
I again refused this house because 4 years later and this particular area of town has declined even more. I have since been offered a house which faces this house
Of course I will be moving into the house offered to me for the simple fact I am at the end of my financial rope. And to further clarify why there is a housing shortage in Moree, directly behind the house pictured above is a block of 16 units that look like this
My friends and I decided to drive around a little and see what was happening with other houses and units in Moree, here’s a few shots, because if I uploaded all of them it would take me forever.
So yes, Moree is facing a housing shortage (and just a note, I lived in the flat above left about 13 years ago and it was beautiful) but what is Moree Plains Shire Council doing about it? More to the point, what are low income housing providers doing about it? I know for a fact that Moree Council will push the blame onto state or federal government but what does that do for us people who are desperate for homes that are safe and in good repair?
The majority of units I have photographed are privately owned, why were they ever allowed to fall into such disrepair in the first place, and the department of housing houses shown here are nothing short of disgusting.
Just because we are poor and battling, does this mean we must live in these kinds of conditions where we wouldn’t dare leave our houses after dark because of the insanely high crime rates? And a point of fact, I called the local police station and asked about the crime stats in the area I will be moving to in the very near future and he told me matter of factly that that particular area was one of the highest crime spots in the North West Region of NSW. He advised me to rent a private unit.
Which brings us back to the beginning of this story, Moree real estates are racist and no amount of lip service from the mayor is ever going to change that fact.