St Jerome’s allowed use of parish hall again


St Jerome’s Primary School principal Helen O’Toole in the hall.
St Jerome’s Primary School principal Helen O’Toole in the hall.

ST JEROME’S principal Helen O’Toole has welcomed news the school will be allowed to continue using a hall for assemblies.

A ban restricting the use of microphones and amplified music was placed over the facility, which the school borrows from the adjacent Catholic parish on Rockingham Road, by the City of Cockburn.

The City, which had been prompted into action following complaints from a nearby resident, recently conducted testing, finding noise was excessive.

The church was advised modifications would be needed for the ban to be lifted, with the school community believing use of the hall for assemblies was no longer an option.

Angry parents flooded the City with calls and complaints, with clarity around the decision surfacing this morning.

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett, speaking on 6PR, said the City’s administration had advised the Parish Council, not the school, that noise had exceeded regulated levels, allowing a school assembly planned for this Friday to go ahead as planned.

“The City never advised the school it could not use the parish hall,” he said.

“Our director of planning and development (Daniel Arndt) has advised the school that the school community can continue to use the parish hall (during school hours) and that we are in discussions with the (Department of Environmental Regulation) about the particular interpretation of the legislation.”

Mr Howlett said the City was also talking with the DER about the school hosting out of hours community events, including morning teas, quiz nights and guest speakers.

Ms O’Toole said she was pleased to again have access to the hall.

“We won’t be having rock concerts,” she said.

“We’ll be having just normal assemblies; singing the national anthem, the school song and normal assembly items and we’re very please with that.

“You’ll see the hall has been here since 2000 and the houses were built later. It’s like if you build next to a railway track. You can’t sort of complain about the trains.”