Life­line for men’s shed

Wanneroo Times - - News - Laura Pond

A LANDS­DALE-based men’s shed has been given a life­line by the City of Wan­neroo.

Coun­cil­lors ap­proved a $9000 one-off do­na­tion to the North­ern Sub­urbs Men’s Shed for six months rent at its Gnan­gara Road fa­cil­ity.

Shed vice-chair­man Ken King­well pre­sented a dep­u­ta­tion prior to the Au­gust coun­cil meet­ing, where he de­scribed the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the shed’s fu­ture.

He said they op­er­ated from a fac­tory unit thanks to an in­for­mal ar­range­ment with the owner, but he wanted to lease it out.

If they were un­able to pay rent, he be­lieved the shed would be forced to va­cate and had nowhere else to go.

“We will have to try and keep our mem­bers to­gether by var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

Mr King­well said they of­fered a “so­cially in­clu­sive” space for men and made items for lo­cal char­i­ties, in­clud­ing Wheelchairs for Kids.

He be­lieved that if they se­cured an ap­pro­pri­ate space, mem­ber­ship would grow to 250 mem­bers within five years.

“There are many men in your com­mu­nity that need this sup­port,” he said.

Mayor Tracey Roberts con­grat­u­lated Mr King­well on the shed’s achieve­ments and said a meet­ing was held last year to in­ves­ti­gate whether com­mu­nity groups could “join forces” to form a precinct, a con­cept he said he sup­ported.

The do­na­tion pro­posal was part of a mo­tion on no­tice by Cr Domenic Zappa, who also sought de­vel­op­ment of a City pol­icy on men’s and women’s sheds in con­sul­ta­tion with the WA Men’s Shed As­so­ci­a­tion and a re­port on pos­si­ble fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for fa­cil­ity ac­cess to be con­sid­ered in the 2017-18 mid-year bud­get re­view.

Cr Zappa said he had worked closely with the shed for the past year and be­lieved a do­na­tion was needed to help them in the short term, while de­vel­op­ing a pol­icy to sup­port the shed and other groups in the long term.

“They are a fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity group, they do so much for our com­mu­nity in the south­ern part of the City of Wan­neroo,” he said.

“All sheds in the City of Wan­neroo should be given the ex­act same op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow and pros­per.”

The fund­ing do­na­tion was sug­gested to come from the com­mu­nity fund­ing pro­gram, but the City be­lieved it could set a prece­dent for other com­mu­nity groups to make sim­i­lar re­quests and rec­om­mended it be con­sid­ered as part of the mid-year re­view.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously sup­ported Cr Zappa’s mo­tion.

Cr Hugh Ngyuyen be­lieved the risk of set­ting a prece­dent was very low.

City of Wan­neroo coun­cil­lor Domenic Zappa with North­ern Sub­urbs Men’s Shed mem­bers.

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