Plea to save historic Busselton buildings

Dallis Marshall, a lifetime member of the Girl Guides and Busselton Historical Society, is pleading for two historic buildings to be saved from demolition. 

The buildings, which house the Busselton Girl Guides and Sea Scouts, will be vacated in April and plans for their removal or demolition will proceed after that date, according the City of Busselton chief executive officer Mike Archer.

The removal of the buildings clears the path for the proposed Eastern Link.

The Guide Hall building was originally a Royal Australian Air Force hut, that stood at the aerodrome training base in Busselton during World War II.

The Scout building is from the group settlement era, and was originally the two roomed Forest Grove Primary School.

Ms Marshall said a piece of Busselton’s history would be lost forever if the buildings were destroyed.

“It is very upsetting to think that they are just going to bulldoze it,” she said.

“I think what upsets me is so many children and people from Busselton that are still around today have used this hall, and then have bought their kids or grandkids up through this hall.

“When I found out I called the local members, the City, the Guides association – they were sympathetic but basically all said there is not a lot they can do, if it’s got to go, it’s got to go.”

Mr Archer said the City appreciated the buildings may have sentimental value for some members of the community and remained open to options for reuse pending the outcome of a building inspection.  

“Expressions of interest from any party willing to relocate the buildings at their own expense may be considered,” he said.

Ms Marshall believed the ‘rare and special’ buildings should be saved based on their historical significance, regardless of whether they were to be used by the Guides in the future.

Ms Marshall said she remained hopeful but was at the end of her tether with the saga.

“I think I’m at the end of my time doing things,” she said.

“I’m still hoping that perhaps someone will consider saving it, even if it isn’t used as a Guide Hall.”