Shire of Harvey to reinvestigate options for youth services in Harvey after plans to use RSL Hall hit hurdle

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Shire of Harvey has been investigating ways to improve youth services in Harvey.
Camera IconThe Shire of Harvey has been investigating ways to improve youth services in Harvey. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroo/RegionalHUB

Shire of Harvey staff will go back to the drawing board on plans to operate youth services in Harvey after it ran into hiccups with a proposed location.

The council earlier this year voted to increase its funding for youth services, with plans for Shire-run programs to take place in Harvey on a monthly basis.

As part of its investigation into getting the Harvey outreach program running, officers investigated six Shire-owned facilities within the town for their suitability as a youth space.

The Harvey RSL Hall came back as the most appropriate location, but those plans are now on ice after it was revealed the facility may not be able to be used.

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Cr Robyn Coleman revealed at August’s meeting the Harvey RSL was investigating a “significant opportunity” which could prevent the hall from being used for other purposes.

She called on the council to investigate leasing a private property within the town to operate youth services.

“I am not aware of any Shire-owned premises just sitting vacant waiting for a youth service,” she said.

“I am aware of some others that could be used with good, strong negotiation and I am very much aware of school principals and community groups in Harvey who want to collaborate.”

Cr Tania Jackson said she wanted a further report into youth services in Harvey to be presented to council, claiming the Shire’s current report does not acknowledge the importance of a stand-alone facility for young people.

“I think the report lacked knowledge about how youth groups run as so we need to revisit it,” she said.

“I don’t think it is just about the RSL Hall because I don’t believe that was an appropriate venue.”

Deputy Shire president Michelle Campbell said a previous Harvey youth group had shut down because the costs of leasing a private property were not “financially sustainable”.

“I believe we should be looking for a Shire facility to accommodate the youth and if we can identify a stand-alone building within Harvey, that’s great,” she said.

Cr Amanda Lovitt also spoke against private leasing, saying she would prefer not see program funds being used in that manner.

“We want those funds used to get this program up and running so we know how it is working,” she said.

A motion to investigate a private lease and community collaboration options was passed 7-5, with Shire president Paul Gillet and Councillors Campbell, Lovitt, Wendy Dickinson and Dakota Krispyn voting against.

A report will be delivered to council in October.

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