YOUNG people in Ellenbrook will soon be able to access more support services after the City of Swan agreed to lease premises on Main St for five years.
Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw, who promised a youth centre for the area if she was elected to state government, said the interim community and youth service space was expected to open by mid-2018 and that the city was seeking expressions of interest from service providers to use the facility.
At the city’s February 14 meeting councillors went behind doors to support a recommendation to authorise the City of Swan chief executive officer to enter into a lease for Unit 6/38 Main St.
Councillors also agreed the premises should be fitted out for the delivery of the interim community support service space for the purpose of providing accommodation for youth and community support services before a new youth centre is built at Charlie Gregorini Memorial Reserve.
A report presented to the council said a budget adjustment of $190,000 for capital and fit out costs associated with the facility for 2017-18 would be conducted via the standard budget adjustment report to the council.
Councillors also agreed to include $57,500 in the 2018-19 draft budget for operating expenses.
Ms Shaw said the interim Ellenbrook youth and community services space would provide a low-cost base for service providers in the heart of Ellenbrook.
She said the approval followed eight months of work to bring the McGowan Government, the City of Swan, businesses and community service organisations together to deliver the project.
“The Ellenbrook youth centre is the most important local election commitment I made to our community,’’ she said.
“One of my first actions as the new member was to establish a youth centre working group.
“Working together, we have found a way to fast-track this exciting initiative.’’
She said once the interim community support service space was operating youth would not have to wait for a new building, before accessing the support services they needed.
“Not-for-profits and other service providers can use the purpose-built work spaces and counselling rooms to support our community, at minimal cost.
“It has been fantastic to work with the City of Swan – particularly the Pearce ward councillors and the youth team staff – on our shared vision for young people in Ellenbrook.’’
She said the interim community and youth service space would eventually move to the new Ellenbrook youth centre building and she would now work with the city to develop the longer term project.
The state government has committed $1.86 million to deliver a purpose-built youth centre in Ellenbrook.
“There’s still a lot of work needed to deliver the youth centre that Ellenbrook needs and deserves, but this is a fantastic step forward.’’
Mayor David Lucas said by approving the interim space now they were allowing youth services to be well established so they could hit the ground running by the time the new youth centre opened.
“Statistics show that more than one third of Ellenbrook’s population is aged 18 and under, which really drives home the need for this facility.”
For more information on the youth centre feasibility study go to www.swan.wa.gov.au/ellenbrookyouth
By Anita McInnes