Perth MP gets security stitch

WHEN John Carey’s neighbours saw a car stopped outside the MPs house and someone furtively taking pictures of his property, they got suspicious.

It had been a rough election campaign back in March with a few smears thrown about, and before that a couple of people unhappy with Vincent council decisions had harangued him for months, so he had some cause for concern.

Then his dogwalker had also seen someone scoping out his house, and they’d managed to snap a pic of the car’s number plate.

“I talked to other MPs, and they said ‘you should report it,” he says. “They said ‘just do it as a precaution’.”

He informed the State Security Unit, a branch of the premier’s department that oversees MP safety.

They looked up the address and tracked the suspicious car, only to find it belonged to a local knitter who was planning a surprise yarnbombing on the tree outside Mr Carey’s house.

Dianne Birt from the local group North Perth Knit, Natter, Crochet and Craft had planned to surprise Mr Carey with a yarn installation.

• Rosie Bell and Dianne Birt putting together a “surprise” instalment on John Carey’s tree. Photo by David Bell

He’d helped the group to get their massive yarn installation on the Big Blue Head outside of Vincent council house, and then back in August he’d mentioned on the group’s Facebook page that he loved a photo of a tree that’d been yarned with a rainbow-coloured spiderweb.

A fan of both marriage equality and Halloween (he hosts a huge annual party for it), he posted: “Love this! My tree outside my house please!”

Almost two months later he’d forgotten about it, until the business with the suspicious photography.

Ms Birt gave him a call saying “I’m sorry! It was me!” and letting him know the SSU had come knocking on her door.

She’d needed to get precise measurements for the tree to put up the webbing: it needs to be as well fitted as a tailored suit, taking into account differing thicknesses of the tree along the trunk and accounting for old knobbly bits, otherwise it’ll sag like loose socks.

Now that the tree’s up just in time for Halloween (and that plebiscite) Mr Carey says, “I love this!”

Ms Birt says she loves brightening up streets and adding a bit of whimsy to the neighbourhood.

“I have an illness that keeps me housebound, and one of the ways I’ve broken out of that is social media, and it was through Facebook that I started up the North Perth Knit, Natter, Crochet and Craft group”.

It’s helped her get out of the house, with other members happy to give her a ride to scout out a location or install one of the group’s projects.

The group’s Facebook page is at and they meet every second Friday at the City of Vincent library for a catch up and craft session.


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