Dordaak Kepap Library and Youth Centre Hub: council secure last-minute State funding to cover $7.5m shortfall

A dicey decision last month to defer approving a tender for a new Landsdale library has paid off, with the City of Wanneroo securing an extra $3 million from the State Government to cover a $7.5m shortfall.

As previously reported by PerthNow, a procedural motion from councillor Phil Bedworth at last month’s council meeting to delay tender approval forced an unusual adjournment in proceedings as the tender approval period was scheduled to end the following day.

Cr Bedworth wanted to defer a decision on the Dordaak Kepap Library and Youth Innovation Hub until the city had heard back from the State Government on additional funding to cover the $17.9m project, of which only $10.5m was budgeted for.

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The council vote to delay the decision until Tuesday’s council meeting left the future of the library and costs in limbo.

The deferral did come at a cost as the tender price from Swan Group increased $115,000 to take the total to $17,990,000, but the decision has paid off with the city securing $3 million from the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan within the past month.

The now $4.5m shortfall will be covered by the city’s strategic projects/initiatives reserve.

While the letter notifying the city of the $3m from the State Government was listed under confidential documents, a council report noted discussions between the city and Landsdale MLA Margaret Quirk, Minister for Youth Hannah Beazley and then-minister David Templeman.

“In May 2024, Mayor Aitken received correspondence from Hon. David Templeman MLA, Minister for Culture and the Arts ... acknowledging the city’s request for additional funding,” the report said.

Information contained in the confidential attachment is set to be released via the city’s website once a formal tender award letter is issued to Swan Group.

“It certainly is welcome news that we have received additional funding of $3 million and I want to thank the State Government and local member who would have moved mountains to actually get this $3 million within that one month,” Cr Vinh Nguyen said on Tuesday.

“Thank you to my colleague (Cr Bedworth). I think it was a good strategy to have this delayed to allow more time to advocate for additional funding because that has in fact changed how I have voted.

“I would have voted against this library if it was a month ago because I think it has gone over budget in the past and now with the additional funding it means that council don’t need to fork out the $7.5 million.”

Cr Nguyen said while he was disappointed at the reduced design from a two-level building to stay within budget restraints, he said the project was “still acceptable for what we can afford at the moment”.

Cr Natalie Herridge described Ms Quirk as “our own fairy godmother” in securing the additional funding.

“We cannot deny that we have re-scoped this project several times, including removing a floor and a cafe design to accommodate before progressing to market,” Cr Herridge said.

Ms Aitken said the project for a library in the city’s southern suburbs had been long discussed and anticipated since the 1990s.

news, wa news, politics, local government, local news, north, perthnow - joondalup, perthnow - stirling, perthnow - wanneroo, state politics, dordaak kepap library and youth centre hub: council secure last-minute state funding to cover $7.5m shortfall

Floor plans for Dordaak Kepap. Credit: City of Wanneroo

The youth hub section of the building will include its own podcast room, activity games room, VR room and recording studio, along with a recording booth.

The anticipated practical completion date is listed in council documents as May 2025.

The decision to award Swan Group the tender to construct the project was passed 14-1, with Cr Helen Berry the sole voter against.

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