Dandaragan Shire looks to turn shed into museum, arts centre

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Dandaragan Shire offices at Jurien Bay
Camera IconDandaragan Shire offices at Jurien Bay Credit: Julie Rouse, Shire of Dandaragan

Dandaragan Shire is seeking a long-term lease over an old building at Lot 33 Jurien Bay Marina to use as a museum and arts centre.

The Department of Transport owns the former fish-processing shed and has offered the Shire a five-year lease only.

The Shire planned to sub-lease the building to the Jurien Bay Lions Club, the Inspirational Community Arts Network, Jurien Interpretation Centre (known locally as the Museum Group) and the Jurien Bay Community Men’s Shed.

The four groups have collectively formed a “Jurien Bay Interpretative Complex Management Committee”.

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In his report to the council, the Shire club development officer Tony O’Gorman recommended the Shire sign a five-year lease with the Department of Transport.

However, one of the four groups, Jurien Bay Community Men’s Shed, decided the risk that an extended lease would not be provided beyond the five years was too great.

Instead, the council agreed to lease them other reserve land in Bashford Street.

In a split decision, the council decided not to lease the shed from the department at this stage, but authorised the Shire chief executive to negotiate a draft lease agreement for the council to consider.

Councillors also asked staff to prepare a report for the council addressing any potential financial risks to the Shire associated with undertaking the draft lease.

Cr Rob Shanhun moved the motion, which was seconded by Kaye McGlew, with two councillors voting against it.

Shire president Leslee Holmes said the property could house “a wonderful eclectic mix” of art and history.

“I am very excited at the prospect of the building being brought back to life by a very hardworking group and finally giving us a place for a museum to house some valuable artefacts,” she said.

“The massive shed with offices and toilets has been sitting there deteriorating for quite a number of years.”

Ms Holmes said WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti preferred the Shire to re-purpose old buildings rather than build new ones.

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