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13 - Stirling Towers Highgate

Stirling Towers

Built in 1971, Stirling Towers in Highgate was a housing department apartment complex with 79 units. Made from reinforced concrete panels that were bolted together over 3-4 months (with the fitout taking a much longer time), the State Government paid $935,000 for the apartments, with payments made in installations throughout the construction period. The complex consisted of 24 three-bedroom units with 55 having two bedrooms over 12 floors, although some sources state there were 11 or 13.

Many fondly recall a sense of community whilst living in Stirling Towers, perhaps more so in the first 15-20 years. It appears there was a steady decline in positive memories, as social issues particularly drug abuse and domestic violence mars many of those commenting online in the years later, particularly post-2000. In the years between 2011-2016, stories of hookers occupying the communal laundry as a place of business or a toilet, drug users shooting up in communal areas and bottles being thrown from higher levels onto neighbouring roofs and into their gardens seem commonplace.

01 - March 2021

02 - April 2021

Stirling Towers became known as "Suicide Towers", "Hell Towers" and "Psycho Towers".

The lifts of course, a familiar issue in many locations including the old Nedlands REGIS Wyvern aged care apartment complex, seemed to be more out of service than in operation. Although the lifts at Stirling Towers was renown for the constant stench of urine.

Major plumbing issues appear to have played a big part in the demise of Stirling Towers but no doubt, potential asbestos, continual petty crime, drug use, violence and general antisocial behaviour would have contributed in their own way.

Rehoming the tenants was the biggest task Homeswest/Housing Authority/Department of Housing (how many times do they feel they need to change their name which does little to change their reputation, whether good or bad??) have ever managed. Around 65 of the 79 tenants were relocated with the remainder vacating on their own accord.

To this date, a number of squatters still appear to be residing in the apartments and I've personally noticed atleast three units from my view on Smith Street. PSS Security tend to respond to alarms on an average 15 minutes with the most being 49 minutes (based on personal research with urban explorers in 2022). Previous security when they were onsite 24/7 was contracted to MCS Security.

Neighbours still continue lobbying the good-intentioned state government for action and perhaps it's at that moment where progress is being made, a change of government is imminent. The continuance of the same social issues, which seems to occur in the area regardless, constant Site Sentry alarms blaring away with their sirens and verbal messages of law enforcement being informed of a trespassers presence, feral nutsacks smashing windows to compensate for some BS drama in their life, the ensuing rat problem coming from the apartments and even the occasional bats! I'm sure many more issues could be somewhat traced to the abandoned Stirling Towers, or more probable, the surrounding area in question.

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