Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    New community resource centre opens in Merredin (with pic)

    1/12/2000 12:00 AM

    The former Merredin Shire administration building has a new lease of life – as Western Australia’s latest community resource centre.

    Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan opened the centre in the Wheatbelt town today.

    The building, which had been empty for three years, is now home to the Merredin Telecentre, the Wheatbelt Development Commission and the local Business Enterprise Centre.

    Mr Cowan said the collocation of the organisations in a central, high-traffic position in the main street of Merredin would increase the public’s awareness of the services available.

    “Getting these community and regional services in the one building maximises existing resources and enables access to improved facilities,” he said.

    “It also means that a building which is not yet 40 years old will continue to play a major role in the day-to-day life of Merredin and the surrounding community. The venue is well suited to regional meetings and conferences.”

    Mr Cowan said the location was ideal - with the library, Contract and Management Services, Merredin District Education Offices, Eastern Wheatbelt Health Service and the Police Department as ‘neighbours’.

    “Many government and community services are now found close together, which is a good situation for the community,” he said.

    “It is all about promoting partnerships and building stronger communities. By doing this, Merredin now has a regional resource precinct.”

    The conversion of the former shire building into a community resource centre was undertaken with grants totalling almost $117,000 from the former Community Resource Centre Program ($46,980), the Lotteries Commission ($40,000), and the Department of Commerce and Trade ($30,000).

    Mr Cowan encouraged community groups and local governments to apply for collocation funding under the new Regional Collocation Scheme which came into operation in July.

    The grants can be used to help to meet a portion of the costs associated with setting up a multi-function facility. This may include constructing or buying a building or refurbishing existing premises.

    Local Regional Development Commission offices or the Regional Development Council at the Department of Commerce and Trade, on 9327 5666, can provide further details of the scheme.

    Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595

    Deputy chair of the Wheatbelt Development Commission Murray McGregor, senior regional officer Karin Day, Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan and support officer Heidi Cockram outside the new Merredin Regional Resource Centre.

    Hendy Cowan and Merredin Telecentre Management Committee chairperson Alison Woodman watch as telecentre co-ordinator Kate Downsborough logs on to a computer at the new premises.