CAMPING gear that Perth city council confiscated from Matagarup activists has gone missing or been destroyed.
The council confiscated truckloads of gear last year in an attempt to stop mainly Aboriginal protestors camping on Heirisson Island.
Legally the council was only able to hold onto the gear for seven days unless items were connected to a charge (they weren’t) but it’s been rotting away in storage for months.
Some owners have had to drag the council to court to get compensation.
Council staff are refusing to answer how they plan to deal with myriad complaints from unhappy owners.
Tanya Cairns donated a long list of goods to the campers, including 33 tents, three generators, 100 blankets, 80-odd pillows, tarps, tent ropes and a barbecue.
“I help run a charity, I’ve been helping these guys out for about 15 months now, buying goods off Gumtree, my local recycling centre, my local buy/sell/swap,” she says.
When she turned up to reclaim her gear last week she could barely find any.
“I did see two of the swags, and I left them behind because they were riddled with mould,” she told the Voice. “Everything was riddled with mould. The smell was like cat pee. It stank. We wore gloves. There was rotting, mouldy gear inside the tents”
Council staff tried to stop people taking photos but the Voice obtained this photo, left, showing bikes, drums, umbrellas, and even a walking crutch in the haul.
Ms Cairns has compiled a list of claims for her goods totalling $7261.90. She has a pre-trial court mediation booked with the council Thursday. She estimates more than a dozen others are in the same boat as her, working their way through the painstaking court process to receive compensation.
by DAVID BELL