Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Shire stands by heritage precinct lease decision

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Alliance says it will appeal to the minister

The Denmark Shire Council has backed its decision to award the lease of the former Lions Club building to the Kwoorabup Nature School.

This means the Denmark Lions will no longer hold the lease of the former station master’s house in the Railway Heritage Precinct, despite widespread community opposition.

At its meeting last night, the council resolved to ignore resolutions passed by an electors’ meeting which had been attended by almost 450 people.

Electors had called on the council to rescind its decision to terminate the Denmark Lions Club lease in the Denmark Railway Heritage Precinct and hand it to KNS.

The recently-formed Historical Precinct Alliance sees the decision as evicting the Lions from their home and alienating railway heritage properties and assets from community use.

Alliance spokesperson Bev McGuinness labelled the council decision as ‘beyond disappointing’.

“The hypocrisy was quite sickening,” she said.

“To listen to councillors parrot their support for heritage and community consultation, then turn around and confirm their flawed and unpopular decision to allow a heritage precinct belonging to the whole community to be taken over by a private school.”

“However, our fight will go on.

“We will now take our appeal to Planning Minister John Carey, asking him to listen to the people of Denmark, and return the heritage precinct to the people of Denmark.”

The Lions have access to their clubrooms outside of school hours under the new lease agreement.

KNS’s deadline for grant applications for new infrastructure has been extended pending confirmation of the council’s support of the lease. 

Denmark Bulletin 17 August 2023

This article appeared in the Denmark Bulletin, 17 August 2023.

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