A new chapter begins

Article image - A new chapter begins The Dempster St library will soon undergo a transformation to help solve the critical childcare shortage in the region.

Port Hedland Council, Western Australia, has taken action to address the region’s critical shortage of child care placements by transforming the library on Dempster Street into space for child care service delivery in 2020.

Council has endorsed the conversion of the facility to fit for purpose child care space should it be deemed feasible.

A contractor will commence child care delivery at the site from Term 1 of 2020, easing the pressure on existing providers and accommodating a proportion of the nearly 400 waitlisted places in Hedland.

In recent years, community consultation identified the lack of affordable child care placements impeding Hedland’s liveability for families.

Hon. Commissioner, Fred Riebeling, said the conversion was a priority for the Town, due to the high demand for child care places by working families.

“The community have spoken and we have listened: action is being taken to ease the pressure on existing local child care providers by converting the Port Hedland Library to space for child care services.

“Extensive community consultation has uncovered a chronic shortage of child care in Hedland, identified as a major barrier to workplace participation and affordability.

“Our strategic goal to become a liveable town for families is dependent on facilitating the provision of high quality, affordable child care. This venue was determined to be the most appropriate due to its existing structure and centrality in Port Hedland.

“South Hedland Library will now become Hedland’s primary provider of library services, such as book loaning and community engagement initiatives set to continue.

“We are yet to make a decision as to whether a library service is re-established in Port Hedland in the future, whether this be a permanent venue or mobile service.

“I intend to keep the community fully informed on any developments as they occur, and I thank everyone for accommodating this change.”