'We feel a bit lost': Growing concerns for Mandurah Community Garden

Mandurah Community Garden president Jenny Bovin says the new regulations have put future plans on hold. Photo: Supplied.
Mandurah Community Garden president Jenny Bovin says the new regulations have put future plans on hold. Photo: Supplied.

Tighter restrictions imposed on the Mandurah Community Garden has left members concerned about the future of the initiative.

Due to residing on Coodanup College, anyone who wishes to enter the garden now must hold a national coordinated criminal history check registered with the school.

Mandurah Community Garden president Jenny Bovin said the new regulations were making it difficult for anyone to visit the site.

"We normally open two mornings a week and we were open to the public - members of the community could come and have a look at the garden and see if they wanted to be a part of it," she said.

"Unfortunately we aren't able to do that anymore because of these restrictions unless that person happens to have one of these police checks, which is highly unlikely unless they work for the education department.

"It is impacting the garden in that we now can't open between the hours of 8am and 3pm during school days."

We are all a little bit down to be honest because we are not sure about the future of the garden.

Mandurah Community Garden president Jenny Bovin

Ms Bovin said the change of hours had impacted a number of its community programs.

"We have people with disabilities that come into the garden and even though their carers all have the correct checks for that they don't have this particular check so they're not even allowed in," she said.

"Any sort of workshops have been moved to other locations.

"We are all a little bit down to be honest because we are not sure about the future of the garden - we feel a bit lost."

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Asking for assistance from a number of government bodies, Ms Bovin is now urging the education department to come to a compromise with the community garden.

"We have a two metre high fence that is separating us from the school so we are not right on the school grounds," she said.

"We are absolutely behind them trying to keep the children safe it's just that sometimes you have to make an exception to help out community groups.

"We have got a lot of projects we would love to do but we have put a lot of things on hold until we can get some sort of compromise from the education department - we need answers in order for the garden to do what it is supposed to be doing, which is be a part of the community."