Shopfront snag for Menshed

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian
Menshed Geraldton members Mike Kendrick, Brent Dean, chairman Richard Porter and Bill Blakey in front of the section of their borrowed premises that will be lost to building renovations.
Camera IconMenshed Geraldton members Mike Kendrick, Brent Dean, chairman Richard Porter and Bill Blakey in front of the section of their borrowed premises that will be lost to building renovations. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Zoe Keenan

Menshed Geraldton has had another setback after group members learned they will have to give up a section of their premises for renovations.

The group has occupied the Marine Terrace premises, which backs onto Foreshore Drive, for almost seven years and has until May 31 to find a space to store materials and equipment housed in the building’s shopfront.

Ocean Centre Hotel owner Robert Ramage, who owns the space and has lent it to Menshed free of rent for several years, said the Marine Terrace-facing section needed to be renovated to improve the look of the building.

Menshed Geraldton member Brent Dean said the group was thankful for the space that had been lent to them. “If we didn’t get this space from Rob we wouldn’t be here,” Mr Dean said.

However, the group has been looking for a permanent residence to secure its future because its current location in the west end of the CBD has been up for sale and could go any day.

Menshed Geraldton chairman Richard Porter said the group would need 12m containers and a space to store wood and tools until it got a permanent residence.

“Once we lose the space if we can’t find somewhere to store our supplies we could lose it,” Mr Porter said.

“We will have to move our office back into the workshop area and it’ll be really tight.”

Mr Porter said if anyone could help them with a space, a shed, a property or containers for storage it would be a huge help.

In January 2017, the Menshed was given permission to occupy the old fire station on Durlacher Street, a State-owned asset to be vested to the City of Greater Geraldton by then-minister for lands Terry Redman.

Since the announcement, the old fire station was found to be one of 162 sites in WA with potential chemical contamination from a firefighting foam that was phased out in 2003.

According to the Health Department, people can be exposed to the chemicals by eating or drinking water from a contaminated site as the chemicals are found in soils, surface water and groundwater.

The station is among 20 sites undergoing investigation to determine the level of contamination, if any, and the dangers posed.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is conducting the investigations and said it could take more than 12 months to complete.

Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney has written to Minister for Lands Rita Saffioti and Minister for Emergency Services Fran Logan requesting they commit to providing the station to Menshed Geraldton.

“I have written to Ms Saffioti and Mr Logan to request their assistance in speeding up the transfer process,” he said.

“Menshed Geraldton are very keen to move into the facility as soon as possible.”

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