MEDIA RELEASE - Update - Brookton Railway Station Building

Published: Friday, 10 January 2020 at 9:19:49 AM

MEDIA RELEASE 

Friday 10 January 2020

UPDATE - BROOKTON RAILWAY STATION BUILDING

From the Shire President - Cr Katrina Crute

To the Community,

In September 2019, following on from the advice of a Structural Engineer the Shire Council proceeded to fence off the Railway Station due to public safety concerns.  At the time, the Council promised the Community open and honest communication, and in return patience was requested as the Engineer undertook further assessment of the building.  Over the past few months further investigation on the structural integrity of both the Railway Station building and the Memorial (Town) Hall has been performed given the considerable age of both buildings, with visual deficiencies being identified. It is the Council’s responsibility to understand the extent of these deficiencies.

Accordingly, the Council was presented with the two reports, and undertook an inspection of both buildings with the Structural Engineer.   These reports are now available to the community, which can be downloaded from the Shire website or obtained by visiting the Shire Administration Office.

Of note in reading these reports, firstly, they only address the structural issues of the respective buildings and any dollar figures quoted do not include refurbishment, for example, the Town Hall will quite possibly require a kitchen upgrade, toilet upgrade, heating and cooling upgrades, and internal painting amongst other things.  The Railway Station may also require additional refurbishment other than addressing the structural issues which are considerable, taking into account it is a 96-year-old building.

The second issue is the Railway Station building is not owned by the Shire, but rather is offered to the Shire under a 10 year ‘Licence to Occupy’ agreement. The owner is the Public Transport Authority (PTA), so before a conversation can be entertained about the future of this building, the PTA will need to be consulted and grant permission to the Shire prior any remedial works being performed.

Therefore, I am writing to inform you that the Shire Council has not made any decisions on the future of either building at this stage, and also assure you that we as Councillors are committed to understanding the full cost of all the options available in addressing the future needs of the Brookton Community. In this regard, it is the Council’s intention to consult with the Community once all relevant information has been obtained, as this will allow Council to be well informed about what is best for the future, ensuring Brookton is a Community of choice, and the future needs of this Community are adequately being met.

Certainly, the Council is cognisant that History and Heritage play a role in the future of our Community, however this comes at a cost and we as a Community need to be accepting of what this cost is.

I therefore take this opportunity to acknowledge your patience over the past three months, and ask that you continue to accept the fence around the Railway Station building will be in place for some time as the Shire performs its due diligence in relation to this matter.

On a personal note, I would like to acknowledge and thank Agquire Rural Holdings for their assistance in providing a building for the Arts & Craft and the Brookton Op Shop, and also thank Pingelly Brookton Financial Services for offering to pay the electricity costs for these two volunteer groups.  Their support for our community does not go unnoticed.

Should you require any further information on this matter please contact the Shire Administration, myself or other Councillors.

Engineering Report - Brookton Railway Station - Download here.

Engineering Report - Brookton Memorial (Town) Hall - Download here.

Cr Katrina Crute

10 January 2020

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