Former DPIRD building to be leased to Waroona environmental groups, creating new ‘eco-centre’

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The former DPIRD offices in Waroona are set to be leased to three environmental groups.
Camera IconThe former DPIRD offices in Waroona are set to be leased to three environmental groups. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Three environmental groups in Waroona will have more room to grow after the local council took control of a former State Government building to create a new “eco-centre”.

The former Department of Agriculture and Food offices on the South Western Highway could soon be occupied by the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group after the Shire of Waroona decided to take ownership of it and lease it out to the three organisations.

The three organisations currently operate in the Waroona Landcare Centre opposite the Waroona Memorial Hall.

However, the natural resource management groups have outgrown their current home and plans are being made to repurpose the centre, also known as Irrigation House, as part of the neighbouring Waroona Community Precinct.

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Waroona shire president Mike Walmsley hoped the relocation would create a new eco-centre in the town.

“We did not want the groups relocating out of town ... (and) not only do they need office space, they need storage space,” he said.

The shire has had plans to activate the unoccupied site since 2020, when the council passed a resolution to look at transferring it to to the council’s control.

It had been a depot for Western Power before the former Department of Agriculture and Food took over the site.

Renovation works will be needed to ensure the building is up to modern standards before the three groups move in.

Cr Walmsley hoped other groups would also be able to use the site, including as a meeting space for community groups and as a container collection scheme point.

“We hope to see it utilised a bit more than it is currently,” he said.

Just prior to the council decision, the Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group had requested access to the site’s sheds to enable it to move equipment out of the Landcare Centre storage shed, which is also being repurposed as part of the Waroona Community Precinct.

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