Scouts and Council Come Together to Plan Upgrades to Camp Waller Facilities

Published on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 at 3:03:36 PM

A productive meeting was held this week at which the Town of East Fremantle and Scouts WA began planning upgrades to the facilities at Camp Waller so that Scouting can be enjoyed safely and by more people in the Town in the future.

The meeting was chaired by Town of East Fremantle CEO Gary Tuffin, and Executive Manager Corporate Services (Peter Kocian), and attended by the Chief Commissioner of Scouts WA, Mr Ayden Mackenzie and CEO for Scouts WA, Sherry Donaldson, was held in a spirit of positive cooperation and mutual respect.

It comes following Council’s decision in March to grant an exclusive lease on the Leeuwin Boat Shed to the Hurricane Dragon Boat and Outrigger Canoe Club, beginning in July 2021.  The Hurricanes and Scouts had previously shared the Leeuwin Boat Shed until a breakdown in arrangements for the sharing of the facility prompted the Town to call for expressions of interest and award an exclusive lease.

The Fremantle Sea Scouts retain exclusive use of the riverfront Camp Waller site, which they have held for over 50 years and which is in need of significant improvements.

Mr Tuffin thanked Scouts WA for approaching the meeting in good faith and described the discussions as constructive, with many areas of mutual agreement emerging in terms of the future direction for the Camp Waller facility.

Among the items discussed included access at the Camp Waller site to the water and for vehicles and trailers, the repair works to the jetty, on site hazards (deep water, rocks, moorings) and the need for upgrades to the building itself and facilities to provide access for all abilities.

Mr Tuffin said the Town had already allocated funds this financial year for improvements at Camp Waller and that they would support Scouts WA in securing other funding to help cover the cost of the upgrades.

Sherry Donaldson, CEO for Scouts WA, expressed her disappointment at Council’s recent decision to grant the exclusive lease, but said her association is looking to the future.

“Obviously we would have preferred a different outcome, and I understand the disappointment of our members, especially those with long-established links to the Leeuwin Boat Shed, however, we are focussed on consolidating our base at Camp Waller and working with Council to make that facility as good as it can be,” Ms Donaldson said.

Scouts WA Chief Commissioner, Ayden Mackenzie, said the two parties were already putting together a list of upgrades and repairs to the site, focussing on useability and accessibility.  “We thank Council for the funding already committed, and welcome their support in helping to identify grant funding opportunities that will assist covering the cost of other improvements,” said Mr Mackenzie.

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