Re­fur­bish­ment move queried

Guardian Express - - NEWS -

CITY of Perth chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Mile­ham has de­fended spend­ing more than $870,000 on Coun­cil House re­fur­bish­ments when chal­lenged by Coun­cil­lor Reece Har­ley.

Coun­cil­lors this week voted on pay­ing Metrow­est Con­struc­tion $874,364 to re­con­fig­ure the ground floor and cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre, but not be­fore Cr Har­ley ques­tioned the move.

“I am not com­fort­able sup­port­ing this item; I think we can make do with the fur­ni­ture we have so I am not con­vinced this is a nec­es­sary ex­pen­di­ture,” he said.

Mr Mile­ham ex­plained the works that would be done, adding the size of the concierge desk was “in­ad­e­quate”.

He said the cost was “rea­son­able” com­pared to a for­mer, costlier plan he scrapped.

“When I started there was a plan for a $1 mil­lion per floor re­fur­bish­ment which would have equalled $10 mil­lion; $800,000 com­pared to a multi mil­lion dol­lar plan, which was halted by my ad­min­is­tra­tion, is rea­son­able. “I think we have been re­spect­ful of the ratepay­ers’ money.”

The ex­pen­di­ture was passed. AN oil paint por­trai­ture busi­ness has been brought to life by a vi­sion­ary 18-year-old with the help of an in­dus­try men­tor and YMCA HQ’s Pitch Please! com­pe­ti­tion.

The Pitch Please! com­pe­ti­tion of­fered a $1000 busi­ness boost to a creative young per­son, as well as one year’s free use of the new busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor and co-work­ing space YCol­lab­o­rate at the YMCA head­quar­ters in Leed­erville.

Am­ber­ley Bradley said her win­ning project aimed to recog­nise un­sung he­roes in the com­mu­nity.

“The grant is so help­ful be­cause it’s go­ing to al­low me to buy the ma­te­ri­als like paint, easels and can­vases that I wouldn’t be able to af­ford usu­ally, as well as the stu­dio space YCol­lab­o­rate to paint,” she said.

“This has given me the push I needed, but also the fund­ing that I’d never have been able to get my­self. I def­i­nitely couldn’t have done it with­out this com­pe­ti­tion.”

YMCA HQ man­ager An­drew Rigg said the YCol­lab­o­rate cowork­ing space pro­vided a sup­port­ive, safe en­vi­ron­ment for young peo­ple want­ing to de­velop projects or busi­nesses.

“It also pro­vides ac­cess to a range of sup­port pro­grams, in­clud­ing ac­cess to pro­fes­sional men­tors, work­shops and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

Am­ber­ley’s busi­ness ven­ture will start with 10 to 15 por­traits which will be auc­tioned at an ex­hi­bi­tion, with her sub­jects present.

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