Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed that he was advised the owners of the derelict Batavia Motor Inne would demolish the site soon after fencing was installed to secure the building. After visiting Geraldton this week to hold a Community Cabinet meeting, Mark McGowan said he took a drive past the Batavia Motor Inne and assessed the state of the site. The Premier said the State Government had been given an assurance from the owners the site would be demolished “soon”. “Obviously we’re investing in new social housing here in Geraldton, around 50 have already been built and we’ve got another 22 being built,” he said. “On top of that, we’re putting in place the Aboriginal short-stay accommodation facility, so we’re doing a lot to address these housing issues in Geraldton and the Mid West.” Work to secure the building began on Monday, January 23 after the company responsible for 54 Fitzgerald Street stated fees for the application for demolition have been “paid in full”. The owners of the site — directors of 54 Fitzgerald Street Pty Ltd Joe Scaffidi, Michael O’Sullivan and Anthony Scaffidi — were contacted for comment this week. The Inne was the scene of a shocking two-day ordeal in June 2021, during which a 14-year-old was raped by Victorian man James Robert Sbresni, who flew to WA and lied on his G2G pass after grooming the girl on Snapchat for months. Meekatharra woman Frances Anne Starr was accused of stabbing her partner during a domestic dispute while they were squatting at the site. Police alleged Ms Starr used a shard of a broken plate to stab her partner in the head, back and chest up to five times. She has pleaded not guilty and is headed for trial. Also, homeless man Norman Trevor Gilbert is accused of raping a woman at the Batavia Motor Inne in December. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.