Landmark new building officially opened

Published on Friday, 29 April 2022 at 12:00:00 AM

A landmark new Shire of Dardanup facility in Eaton was officially opened today by South West MLC Jackie Jarvis – the $3.6 million Eaton Bowling & Social Club & Senior Citizen’s Centre.

Since its practical completion late last year, the stunning new timber building on Pratt Road, overlooking the Collie River Foreshore has become one of Council’s biggest and busiest assets and has been achieved with thanks to a $3 million funding contribution from the State Government.

The new building amalgamates facilities of the Eaton Bowling Club and Eaton Senior Citizen’s Association with increased accessibility for all plus a dedicated function room and kitchen upgrade.

It replaces the former, almost 50-year-old Eaton Bowling Club building.

In his address at the official opening, Deputy Shire President Tyrrell Gardiner said plans for improvements to the bowling club were first mooted in early 2017 with a $2 million election promise in the event a new Labour Government was formed.

A year later, in February 2018, then Sport & Recreation Minister Mick Murray handed over a $50,000 down payment on that election promise which enabled planning for the project to begin,” Cr Gardiner said.

A specially-appointed Council Working group consisting of elected members and representatives of the Eaton Bowling Club was charged with the responsibility of exploring the project scope and potential opportunities for project partnerships with other community groups.

Cr Gardiner (who chaired the working group) said as discussions commenced, it soon became evident the ageing building needed full replacement rather than just renovation.

Thankfully, in July 2020, Premier Mark McGowan slipped into the bowling club for a visit prior to a regional Cabinet meeting and announced a top-up of the original election commitment from $2 million to $3 million.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Eaton Bowling & Social Club and the Eaton Senior Citizens Association was signed in December, 2019 and paved the way for shared use of the facility and achievement of the vision for a welcoming, multi-use, multi-generational community hub.

Cr Gardiner acknowledged work done by Shire President Mick Bennett in bringing the two organisations together.

Construction was undertaken by BGC Construction.

Collie Preston MLA Jodie Hanns said:“The construction of this facility will give the community so many options for working, socialising and recreating.

“I am delighted that the McGowan Government was able to fund this development and deliver for the local community.

“It’s all part of the McGowan Government’s plan to set up the State for the long term future.”

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