Resident’s concern over “prison-like” fence

Resident’s concern over “prison-like” fence

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Kevin de Mamiel with his daughter Kimberley out the front of Kingsley Primary School. Photograph – Richard Polden.

An Armadale resident said he is concerned a new fence around a local primary school will give the school a prison-like appearance and will overpower its natural bush appearance. 

In a newsletter to the school community on November 25, Kingsley Primary School’s principal Matt O’Mara advised that the school council and the P&C were in full agreement that an Education Department initiated fence should be constructed around the perimeter of the grounds in a bid to improve the safety of students and staff. 

The plans for the fence were available for viewing and comment until December 9, which in turn returned one complaint. 

Department of Education executive director of infrastructure John Fischer said the fence has been proposed to provide the necessary security and prevent the number of vandalism incidents and anti-social behaviour that the school has seen in recent years. 

“It’s encouraging that many members of the public look out for their schools over the weekends and holidays and I thank them for their help,” he said. 

“However, a few schools with a high amount and cost of wilful damage and vandalism are selected each year to have a fence installed by the department as part of its fencing program. 

“I appreciate there may be an impact for local residents who often use school ovals outside of school hours, however fencing will ensure a safe environment for students.” 

Resident Kevin de Mamiel has lived opposite the school for the past seven years and he said he has never seen any anti-social behaviour. 

“We take our daughter to and pick her up after school and we have never seen any wilful damage or vandalism at the school,” he said. 

“We are aware of damage to internal office buildings about a month ago and feel this maybe a case to fence off some internal buildings, but does not justify the oval or basketball court. 

“In our view the oval and basketball court are a community asset and it is frequently used by local people for a range of activities.” 

The fencing proposal is still subject to planning approval and if approved the fence will be 2.1 metres high, made of chainmesh and is estimated to cost about $174,000.