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Anti-frackers protest at the entrance to Stewart’s at Brookleigh before the Ellenbrook community Cabinet meeting. Picture: Anita McInnes

Community Cabinet in Ellenbrook

HELD in Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw’s electorate the community Cabinet was a chance for residents to directly ask Cabinet Ministers about issues of concern and interest to them.

Ellenbrook Community Collective secretary Augusta Kedia asked about Sudanese integration into the community as there was a lack of activities for Sudanese youth.

Community Services Minister Simone McGurk, who is also responsible for the Child Protection, Women’s Interests and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence portfolios said the Ellenbrook Community and Youth Services Hub, which opened on October 19, would be able to help with activities.

Ms McGurk said she understood people wanted positive activities they could access easily.

She said she would continue working with Ms Shaw but it would not just be the government responsible for providing activities.

Leon Fowler from Bullsbrook Basketball asked Planning, Transport and Lands Minister Rita Saffioti, who is also the West Swan MLA, if the government would consider building a tunnel for Roe 8.

But she said the government was focused on pushing freight from road onto rail.

Lorraine Oldridge from Ellenbrook Community Kitchen told Ms McGurk domestic violence, which included male victims, was an increasing problem with the organisation being approached by 10 families a week.

Ms McGurk agreed it was sadly an increasing problem.

She said the government was implementing its election commitments to provide services for victims and holding perpetrators to account but what was needed was changing attitudes to domestic violence and violence towards women.

A trial of a program about respectful relationships for schools is being prepared to be rolled out and a social media campaign called 16 Days in WA starts on Sunday.

The 16 Days in WA to stop violence against women campaign will take place from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

Patrick Crichton from Mundaring Transition said the federal government was not providing any leadership on climate change so what was the state doing.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said he had reinstated the climate change unit in his department and the government was carrying out its election promises on solar power, wave power and the bio mass facility.

Regional Development, Agriculture and Food and State Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said $80 million had been provided for renewable energy projects in regional areas and farmers were being encouraged to take part in carbon farming. 

Labor candidate for Pearce Kim Travers asked about community based mental health services given the confronting reality of mental illness, psychosis and depression communities faced.

Premier Mark McGowan said he thought a lot of the issues were related to meth use.

He said the government had introduced the Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison for women and one for men was planned.

Lock the Gate Alliance representative Michael Thomas wanted to know on what conditions would Mr McGowan give the go ahead to fracking in the Kimberley and the North West.

Mr McGowan said the fracking report was still being considered by Cabinet but he expected a decision by the end of the year.

Upper Swan Primary School P&C president Aaron Bowman raised concerns about parking and maintenance.

Mr Bowman said he believed someone would die if something was not done about the car park at the school which is on the busy Great Northern Hwy.

Education Minister Sue Ellery said she would follow up on his concerns about the parking.

She said the cost of maintaining schools that were 40 and up to 50 years-old was high.

South Sudanese Association of WA president John Aciek asked about settlement programs and the state’s government’s relationship with Africa.

Mr McGowan said new migrants came to Australia prepared to work hard and engage in education and often got a start doing the difficult jobs no-one else wanted to do.

He understood it was not easy for the South Sudanese community to get jobs but over time it would happen.

Electoral Affairs and Asian Engagement Minister Bill Johnston said the state linked with some African countries dealing with governance in the mining industry and that Africa Down Under was held in WA.

Liam Kendall who is a member of a City of Swan youth leadership project asked what the government was doing to help youth looking for jobs such as resume preparation.

Mr McGowan said the government was creating more jobs, improving the economy and had created jobs and skills centres (eight in regional areas and five in the metropolitan area).

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.


  1. “……… asked about Sudanese integration into the community as there was a lack of activities for Sudanese youth”

    This infers some want separate activities away from other youths. If that is the case how does it help integration?

  2. So the government is planning a Rehabilitation Prison for men, god forbid if they want to have it the Swan Valley. But wait, we already have a prison in the Swan Valley.

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