‘Heart of the town’ to be saved

‘Heart of the town’ to be saved

Peel Development Commission chair Paddi Creevey, Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan, Darling Range by-election Labor candidate Tania Lawrence, National Trust of WA chief executive Julian Donaldson and Serpentine Jarrahdale shire president Michelle Rich. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The historic National Trust-owned Mill Manager’s House in Jarrahdale will soon receive a significant facelift to bring it back to its former glory.

Often referred to as the heart of the town, the (circa) 1889 house has previously been left to ruins, with no significant works carried out on the building for many years.

On Tuesday Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan met with National Trust of WA chief executive Julian Donaldson, Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale president Michelle Rich, Darling Range by-election Labor candidate Tania Lawrence and members of the Peel Development Commission to discuss the future of the historic building.

At the meeting Ms MacTiernan announced a total of $395,155 would be spent on the conservation and upgrade works and a further $50,000 would be given to allow for the building’s fit out and initial operating costs.

She said the project was a great catalyst for economic growth and heritage tourism in Jarrahdale.

“The house, which has been standing for about 120 years, has significant heritage value but is run down and urgently needs upgrading and conserving,” she said.

“We have resolved a situation that has dragged on for more than a year, and now look forward to seeing the house restored and available for use by the community.”

Ms Rich said the building would need to be run as a commercial entity and the heritage of the building would need to be respected and retained.

“Whether it is a restaurant or accommodation I don’t mind, I just want to see it activated and utilised and reformed to what it looked like in its glory days,” she said.

Jarrahdale Community Collective president Stacey Holmwood said the group had recently stepped forward as the voice for the community to see the iconic building restored.

“The majority of the people who are concerned about the building are the people who have lived in the town for many years and have generations of family who have lived here, some of which have used the house as residents,” she said.

“People have put a lot of efforts into the trails in the area around the house to build it up for tourism and to show what Jarrahdale has to offer.

“It is sad to see the house not being restored but now hopefully it can be.”

Restoration work will start soon and should be completed by January 2019.

The National Trust and the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale are also contributing to the project.