‘We’ve got to do something’

‘We’ve got to do something’

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Examiner Newspapers was denied permission to take photographs inside the centre. This photograph, taken in mid-2019, displays that several parts of the Serpentine Jarrahdale Recreation Centre are covered in cobwebs, while the soft wall coverings show plenty of wear and tear. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A local sporting club has pleaded with the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale to undertake urgent maintenance on its ageing recreation centre, with insulation falling from the walls, water leaking from the ceiling and the ventilation coated in a layer of dust.

For the last 18 months, the Byford Basketball Association has been in talks with the shire council about the need for maintenance works and a potential extension of the centre – which is used almost daily by the association’s 480 registered players.

But Association secretary Maryann Ellis said it appeared that plans for the new Kiernan Park Recreation Precinct had seen any prospect of maintenance or an extension to the 15-year-old Mead Street Centre pushed down the priority list.

“We’re doing the best we can, but we’re running out of space,” she said.

“We’re now using the court at the Byford Secondary College, too.

“We’ve got to have something in the next two years because there is no where else for us to go.

“We’ve had continuous conversations about the fact that there is insulation falling off the walls, off the ceiling and the roof is leaking and that the flooring, lines, backboards and scoring system needs updating.

“We need assistance to provide a safe environment for our members and have the occupational health and safety issues addressed.

“We’ve enquired about covering the insulation with sponsorship material, but we’re not allowed.

“Unfortunately, the configuration of the court and the surface means we’re unable to host competitions either.

“The facility could be a major draw card for many indoor sports, but it needs maintenance – that’s the main issue.”

Examiner Newspapers visited the shire’s recreation centre to discuss the ongoing issues with association members, but was denied permission to take photographs inside the centre.

Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale president Michelle Rich confirmed that the shire had allocated $120,000 in this year’s budget for renewal works to the Recreation Centre – but on the condition that it secured 50 per cent grant funding.

If successful in securing the grant funding, the works are understood to include painting, lighting renewal to LED in the basketball stadium, roof renewal, path lighting and internal wall cladding.

Councillor Rich said general maintenance on the courts was carried out on an ‘as-needs’ basis, with a clean of the centre scheduled later this month.

Labor candidate for Darling Range Hugh Jones visited the facility late last month to listen to the club’s concerns, but refused to be drawn on whether the association would receive support at the upcoming election.