Emergency alert

Scouts in search of new home

Cheryle Dunkley Scouts Local Leader. (Supplied)

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After being evicted from the old TAFE in Mount Barker, Plantagenet Scouts are desperately seeking a new home.

For the past few months, the Plantagenet Scouts have been without a permanent training site.

Training area unsafe for kids

The group were leasing the old TAFE building since June 2019, but the building was rezoned at the start of this year and part was sold off to a business.

This left the Scouts without enough space to train and caused the area to be unsafe for the kids as they were sharing the building.

The Scouts Leaders said they started talks with the Shire about relocation in March 2021, but Leader Cheryle Dunkley sad they were asked to vacate the premises four weeks before their lease was due to end.

“I got back from Perth the other week and we had an eviction letter because of complaints from the business from the noise of the children,” she said.

Ms Dunkley said losing their training hall had been difficult on the kids, but it was not the first time the local Scouts had been on their own.

“We’ve been looking for a permanent site for about a decade”

“We’ve been looking for a permanent site for about a decade,” she said.

Shire gave Scouts relocation site to the Men’s Shed without consultation

Back in 2013, the Scouts chose to relocate from the Porongurups to Mount Baker due to lack of numbers and being so far out of town.

Ms Dunkley said their plan was to use the original Scouts Hall in town, but six months before moving, the Shire gave it to the Men’s Shed.

“This was done without consulting the Scouts,” Ms Dunkley said.

Now homeless, the Scouts started looking for a new hall, but space issues and high rents have left the group without a permanent place.

Plantagenet Scouts are currently sharing the RSL Hall with the local Girl Guides group, but Ms Dunkley said there wasn’t room for the two groups.

Ms Dunkley said the Shire provided a list of possible locations to the Scouts Leaders, one option being the local SES Unit which is likely to be vacant over the next few years as the volunteers relocate to a larger site.

Ms Dunkley said “SES was perfect for her group”.

SES Local Manager Kirsten Beidatsch said she was happy to share with the Scouts until the volunteers moved.

“The Scouts need a new home, and when they reached out to me, I was very eager to make it work.”

“The Scouts need a new home, and when they reached out to me, I was very eager to make it work,” she said.

But Ms Beidatsch said Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), who managed the SES, said the two groups couldn’t use the site together.

“DFES have policies in place around insurance and child safety that has prevented the merger at this time,” Ms Beidatsch said.

Shire of Plantagenet. (Michael Roberts)

Scouts need purpose-built space to call their own

Shire President Chris Pavlovich said the SES was the only location with an upcoming vacancy.

“There’s a few options but I think the Scouts would like a purpose-built space to call their own,” he said.

“What we have done is we have given Scouts WA and Cheryle Dunkley, the Local Leader, a list of about ten buildings.

“They aren’t suitable for one reason or another.

“I’m sure there are plenty of options, it’s just about getting everyone in the same place and talking about it.”

“I’m sure there are plenty of options, it’s just about getting everyone in the same place and talking about it.”

But Ms Dunkley felt the SES was the only place that suited their needs in the short and long term.

“The SES still being our best option in my opinion,” she said.

“Plus, it could be a good working relationship.”

A training home is needed soon for the wellbeing of the group

Ms Dunkley said the bottom line was the Scouts needed a training home soon for the wellbeing of the group.

“We have found with this continuous moving from place to place there has not been stability for the group,” Ms Dunkley said.

”Even though Scouts are resilient, we’ve got a lot of variety of children with different levels of learning.

“We are just getting shoved around a lot and it doesn’t help.”

“We are just getting shoved around a lot and it doesn’t help.

“Basically, come the end of this year we need a place to call our own” she said.

Ms Dunkley said if people could help the Scouts find a home or wished to donate, to contact gl.plantagenet@scoutswa.com.au.

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