Pur­chase cen­tred on town sta­bil­ity

Western Suburbs Weekly - - From The Archives - By JON BAS­SETT

When the Town of Clare­mont paid $3.5 mil­lion for the for­mer Clare­mont Fresh site and ad­ja­cent carpark in 2010, it made front page news in the Western Sub­urbs Weekly.

CLARE­MONT Mayor Jock Barker does not re­gret his coun­cil’s $11 mil­lion pur­chase of a 2389sq m block in the cen­tre of the town in 2010.

“It was strate­gic in­vest­ment for the town’s fu­ture, and it would be a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial gain in due course,” Mr Barker said.

The coun­cil de­feated sev­eral ri­val bids from com­mer­cial in­ter­ests when it bought the 54bay carpark and for­mer Clare­mont Fresh site, which now hosts Typika cof­fee roast­ers.

The bids in­cluded multi­na­tional Wool­worths’ push that could have re­sulted in Clare­mont Fresh be­com­ing an out­let for dis­count bot­tleshop chain Dan Mur­phy’s.

How­ever, the coun­cil’s suc­cess­ful sec­ond bid for the site used $3.5 mil­lion of sav­ings and a WA Trea­sury loan.

Mr Barker said the pur­chase al­lowed res­i­dents and coun­cil­lors to

have a say in the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the town cen­tre.

“Oth­er­wise the plan­ning min­is­ter and the bu­reau­crats could have de­cided the shape of the town,” he said.

He said while there were no im­me­di­ate plans to use the site, a re­port would go to the coun­cil about any fu­ture mixed res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment late this year.

Res­i­dents would be con­sulted if the site was ever used, and Mr Barker said the pur­chase showed long-term fi­nan­cial plan­ning, which had kept a lid on rates rises, when the State Gov­ern­ment had in­creased debts and charges.

“It will con­trib­ute in due course to ab­so­lute sta­bil­i­sa­tion of rates in the fu­ture,” he said.

FOR years, John XXIII Col­lege in Mt Clare­mont has had a rep­u­ta­tion as a leader in ed­u­ca­tion and the col­lege’s spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre is no ex­cep­tion.

Named af­ter one of the col­lege’s in­spi­ra­tional fig­ures, the Mary Ward Cen­tre of­fers state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties for stu­dents, en­abling stu­dents with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties to have ac­cess to prac­ti­cal learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties along­side main­stream learn­ing.

Mary Ward Cen­tre head of learn­ing Gill Lyon said each of the 18 stu­dents had an in­di­vid­u­alised pro­gram.

“The stu­dents have vary­ing dis­abil­i­ties, from high needs to lower needs,” she said.

“Each stu­dent’s pro­gram is tai­lored to meet their needs, so some are in and out tak­ing part in main­stream elec­tive classes such as food, tex­tiles, wood­work and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion.”

Ms Gill said that as part of the pro­gram, stu­dents in years 10, 11 and 12 vis­ited work­places once a week.

“The stu­dents go out to or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Royal Life­sav­ing or the Catholic Ed­u­ca­tion of­fice, or to com­peti­tor work­places such as Bun­nings, Coles or Wool­worths,” she said.

“We never know where their work op­por­tu­ni­ties might evolve. For ex­am­ple, we have an ex-stu­dent who works at The West Aus­tralian two morn­ings a week.”

Ms Gill said stu­dents who were not be able to go into the work­place went on “life and leisure” out­ings with staff.

“The stu­dents are taken to com­mu­ni­ties venues, such as Scitech for ex­am­ple, where they went last week,” she said.

“They are taught life skills about be­hav­ing ap­pro­pri­ately in a pub­lic en­vi­ron­ment, as well as on pub­lic trans­port, which they use to get to and from the venue.

“The dif­fer­ence be­tween when the stu­dents come in and when they leave is enor­mous; you re­ally see the dif­fer­ence in the way they man­age all the skills we take for granted.”

The high­light of the stu­dents’ week is when the Leader of the Week award is handed out.

“The ‘habit pro­gram’ is our lead­er­ship pro­gram that un­der­pins ev­ery­thing we do,” Ms Lyon said.

“It makes the whole en­vi­ron­ment a very pos­i­tive one be­cause we talk the lan­guage of lead­er­ship and it gives the stu­dents a frame­work.

“The stu­dent who dis­plays the best lead­er­ship gets the ‘Leader of the Week’ badge, an award they wear with much pride.”

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Mr Barker is happy with the pur­chase six years ago.

The Western Sub­urbs Weekly’s re­port on the Town’s pur­chase.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d467149

Mary Ward Cen­tre head of learn­ing Gill Lyon with Year 12 stu­dent Lach­lan Har­court and Year 11 stu­dent Maddie Brown.

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