The long-awaited Serpentine/Jarrahdale Telecentre has been officially opened in Mundijong by Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan, who said it was a significant achievement for the whole community.
“I am confident that the services this telecentre provides will be fitting reward for the efforts of the community and that the centre will become a key community asset,” Mr Cowan said.
"The services that telecentres can provide are growing daily. Across the State, some telecentres now offer services as diverse as in-store banking through to on-line legal advice, university degrees, digital photography and video-conferencing.
"This is on top of traditional services such as access to state-of-the-art computers, scanners, printers and other technologies, community education and training, desktop publishing, Internet access and bookkeeping and secretarial work.
"With the opening of the Serpentine/Jarrahdale Telecentre, the hard work has been done, and it is now be up to the community to determine how the facility should grow, what additional services are possible, and how these can best be provided."
Mr Cowan said Serpentine/Jarrahdale was one of 78 approved telecentres located across the length and breadth of Western Australia.
"Telecentres have been one of the great success stories for regional areas, and they will continue to be a priority in the future," he said.
"By June 2001, the State Government hopes to have 90 telecentres established.”
Telecentres are jointly funded by the State Government's Telecommunications Initiative Fund and the Federal Government's Networking the Nation program, with the funds administered through the Department of Commerce and Trade.
Funding includes $30,000 for start-up equipment and $20,000 annually towards salary for a telecentre co-ordinator.
The other key ingredient is community support, and Mr Cowan said residents had strongly supported the Telecentre project, with many local people contributing time and effort to help bring it to fruition.
The Minister commended the dedication of Mr Athol Wigg in leading the steering committee through the establishment process and maintaining his commitment throughout the difficult process of finding a suitable venue.
"It has taken a long time, but the hard work has paid off. I hope everyone in the community will now investigate what services are available and take full advantage of the opportunities they provide," he said.
"Telecentres can open doors for everyone from children doing school projects to seniors wanting to learn about technology, businesses wanting to understand and use online services, community groups wanting a professional finish on publications and individuals wanting to pursue anything from tertiary studies to email communications.”
The new telecentre is located in Paterson Street, Mundijong.
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222 9595