Club needs site to build wheelchairs


Scarborough Rotary Club president Brian Richards with members Don Brooks, Greg Nolan and Mike McAuliffe.
Scarborough Rotary Club president Brian Richards with members Don Brooks, Greg Nolan and Mike McAuliffe.

Mayor Giovanni Italiano said the City was unable to identify any available land that met Rotary’s request for 5000sq m.

“The City considered potentially suitable land that could meet these requirements but determined that the land was either already occupied by other organisations or required by the City for conservation and wildlife protection purposes,” Cr Italiano said.

Scarborough Rotary Club president Brian Richards said volunteers had built more than 30,000 wheelchairs for disadvantaged children for more than 20 years at a commercial property in Wangara.

“We were pretty disappointed because we are looking at an outlet to make wheelchairs in the City of Stirling because we are based in Scarborough,” Mr Richards said.

“We rent units in Wangara but we could be shelved out of there at anytime so we want to get something permanent to plan things better.

“We’d like it to be in the shire because we’ve been in Scarborough for 56 years this year.”

Councillor Karen Caddy said the project currently ran from a property provided to the Rotary club for a peppercorn rent.

“It would be nice for them to operate within the City of Stirling but the land required of 5000sq m is onerous,” Cr Caddy said.

Mr Richards said building the wheelchairs was a large-scale project that required a semi-commercial space.

“We’ve got about 180 volunteers, many of whom are former engineers, who work in the space making about 340 wheelchairs a month,” he said.

“We’ve got 76 countries we send wheelchairs to but the majority have gone into Cambodia, Vietnam and South East Asia and African countries.”

Member Don Brooks said he had been to China to donate wheelchairs 12 times.