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Cambodian Welfare and Cultural Centre president Pheap Him, West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti and Buddhist monk Sam Oeun in Bennett Springs. Picture: ANITA McINNES

New hall plan for Bennett Springs temple

THE Cambodian Welfare and Cultural Centre of WA wants to build a new community hall at its Buddhist temple in Bennett Springs.

The centre’s president Pheap Him said the community hall would be for holding festivals but could also be used for young people not just Cambodian youth to use for playing music and sport.

West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti said if WA Labor was elected at the March 11 election the centre would be given $20,000 to put towards the new hall.

Ms Saffioti said the building of a new hall on the centre’s site in Coast Rd had been an issue for many years.

The centre moved to Bennett Springs in about 1999 from East Perth when they had to move to make way for the Graham Farmer Fwy.

Mr Him said when the original Cambodian association started in 1984 it helped new arrivals but now it spent more time helping students who came to Australia to study, translating and helping people who had some difficulty with the English language.

He said the new hall would help the community keep it’s traditions alive.

“We call Australia home but you should never forget where you come from,’’ he said.

Ms Safffioti said hundreds of people attended the centre for religious and community events.

“Community halls and meeting places for groups and organisations are in short supply across our suburbs,’’ she said.

“I have visited the temple on a number of occasions and the large crowds for community events show how needed this new infrastructure really is.’’

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.

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