By Rebecca Peppiatt
A 112-year-old church in Mount Helena has a slightly brighter future after Swan Hills member Jessica Shaw last week announced the land that it sits on will not be sold.
Ms Shaw, who is also the Heritage Minister, spoke at a meeting in Mount Helena on September 28 to a group of concerned residents that have been fighting for the St Marks Anglican Church’s retention and restoration.
She said the land was earmarked for sale three years ago as part of the state government’s asset refreshment process.
“I am very pleased to say that this week I have had confirmation from the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage and from the Minister for Finance’s office that that portion of land is no longer going to be sold,” she said.
“I’ve been working very hard with the agencies with respect to getting this removed from the asset sales process and it will be removed.”
Ms Shaw said she has since spoken to the Shire of Mundaring with regards to taking over the restoration of the church and leasing the land it sits on from the state government.
But Ms Shaw said the council had yet to get back to her on the issue.
“I’ve been in discussion with the Shire of Mundaring over the last six months and they’ve indicated they’ve got no appetite to pick this up,” she said.
“They wrote to me eight to 10 weeks ago and said we don’t have any funding for it.”
Instead Ms Shaw suggested the community rally themselves and try and get the church heritage listed either at local or state level and use that to garner some grant funding for the project.