By Breanna Inferrera
CONSTRUCTION on a new community hub at Jorgensen Park is on track, however, Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes is calling on the City of Kalamunda to dig a little deeper with its contribution to the project.
The Kalamunda Community Centre, replacing the Jorgensen Park Pavilion, will provide vital services to the community for leisure and recreation when complete.
The main building framework of the centre is now up, with the roof expected in coming weeks.
At a sod-turning ceremony on January 31 to mark construction of the $6.6 million project, Premier Mark McGowan joked the City had dodged contributing to the funding, with the Federal Government contributing $1 million, Lotterywest providing $2.5 million and the State Government injecting $3 million.
The Kalamunda Community Learning Centre (KCLC), one of the core community groups who will utilise the centre, also provided a $150,000 contribution.
“Can I congratulate the Kalamunda community, fantastic, you managed to get everyone else to pay for it for you,” Mr McGowan said at the time.
“It’s something I love doing with the Commonwealth.
“I’m always very proud when I get them to put $1 billion into something and we put very little in.
“You’ve done it to us so congratulations, a model for other councils around the State.”
On Tuesday, Mr Hughes told Echo News this would have preserved the City’s funds for other community projects.
“I’d be interested to see how the City has responded to that,” he said.
“The financial contribution from the City was zero.
“I’m not criticising the City, but I think there is an opportunity for the City to assist the broader community to gain access to what is now a community hub by facilitating a community bus service.”
Mr Hughes said he would be looking to the State Government through the Public Transport Authority of WA to make a terminal point for bus services at the centre.
“There’s still a need for some of the more remote communities, like Pickering Brook or wherever it might be, which are not on the main bus routes to in fact have certainty, particularly the elderly, they can actually get here,” he said.
“I’m hoping the City is looking at ways in which it can make a substantial contribution to this enterprise and can actually do it.
“I know the City will have responsibility for the general upkeep that’s fine, but that’s one way the City can show its appreciation for the work of the upcoming learning centre in being the catalyst for what is now the community hub and recognition of the significant contribution the State Government has made.”
City Mayor Margaret Thomas said the City is supportive of the KCLC.
“And all our residents that use it which is a lot and it’s across a lot of different activities,” she said.
“Anything the learning centre came to the City to do we would absolutely support it if we possibly could.
“If they needed a bus service or something, we would look into that.”
The Kalamunda Community Centre’s multi-purpose design includes seven activity rooms, two halls, office space, a kitchen, bathrooms, outdoor play areas and a viewing deck.
In a nod to its bush surrounds, the completed design will feature a timber and stone exterior finish and improved car parking facilities.
The centre is expected to be operational by March 2021.
For more details on the project or to view concept drawings, the City can be contacted on 9257 9999, at firstname.lastname@example.org or online via kalamunda.wa.gov.au