Men’s shed gets a boost

Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

The es­tab­lish­ment of a men’s shed in Bal­divis is one step closer af­ter the City of Rock­ing­ham and Lot­tery­west con­trib­uted al­most $40,000 to con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study into a new fa­cil­ity.

There are about 980 men’s sheds across Aus­tralia, pro­mot­ing so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and ca­ma­raderie among older men, with groups in both Rock­ing­ham and Kwinana.

How­ever, the Rock­ing­ham Model Rail­way Group is look­ing for a new home in Bal­divis and the in­cor­po­ra­tion of a men’s shed into its po­ten­tial new fa­cil­ity has been dis­cussed lo­cally.

City of Rock­ing­ham deputy mayor Deb Ham­blin said the group was awarded an In­fra­struc­ture Plan­ning and Devel­op­ment grant in Fe­bru­ary to en­gage a con­sul­tant to pre­pare a “hobby hub” needs and fea­si­bil­ity study for Bal­divis.

“The study will help the group iden­tify whether there is po­ten­tial for devel­op­ment of a site in Bal­divis that could ac­com­mo­date a fa­cil­ity to ser­vice its fu­ture needs, as well as po­ten­tially a num­ber of com­ple­men­tary com­mu­nity groups and ac­tiv­i­ties,” she said.

“The con­sul­tant will as­sess de­mo­graphic in­for­ma­tion, pop­u­la­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion trends, and will un­der­take con­sul­ta­tion to de­ter­mine the fea­si­bil­ity of such a pro­posal, iden­ti­fy­ing po­ten­tial user groups and de­tail­ing fa­cil­ity re­quire­ments, man­age­ment con­sid­er­a­tions and fund­ing mod­els.”

Bal­divis MLA Reece Whitby has cham­pi­oned the cause and said the sub­urb needed a hub where groups could meet.

“It is not just about the model rail­way group but find­ing a space which the com­mu­nity at large can use,” he said.

“There are a range of peo­ple and groups that are look­ing for a low-cost place to meet.

“I get peo­ple com­ing to me and say­ing we need a men’s shed in Bal­divis — the scene is right — you have a big re­tire­ment com­mu­nity and a big com­mu­nity of FIFO men.”

Mr Whitby is hold­ing a com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on Thurs­day, April 5 at the Mary Davies Li­brary from 7pm.

For de­tails on the ses­sion, phone 9523 2921.

Pic­ture: Gareth McKnight

Reece Whitby with Frank Par­ish, Les An­der­son, Gra­ham Hayes and Jeff Deane.

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