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Step closer to home for RDA

Cecilia AllenSound Telegraph
Peel Riding for the Disabled secretary Ali Thomas and volunteer coordinator for Mead Farm for Peel RDA Kristin Hosken are excited to see progress at Mead Farm which will see the 25ha piece of land transformed into a permanent home base for the group.
Camera IconPeel Riding for the Disabled secretary Ali Thomas and volunteer coordinator for Mead Farm for Peel RDA Kristin Hosken are excited to see progress at Mead Farm which will see the 25ha piece of land transformed into a permanent home base for the group. Credit: Picture: Cecilia Allen, Cecilia Allen.

Development of the Peel Riding for the Disabled permanent home base at Mead Farm is gaining pace, with State Heritage officers, consultants and an architect set to meet this week to discuss the final design for the site’s dilapidated homestead.

Last year, Peel RDA received $750,000 under the State Government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program for the project, which will be distributed over three years.

The money will allow the group to establish a long-term home base and transform the Homestead into a tearoom and gift shop to generate funds and open the building to the public and create employment.

Agistment for the group’s horses and ponies will also be available on-site, saving unnecessary travel for volunteers.

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“We had a critical need for a permanent home base, with many of the horses agisted voluntarily by Baldivis landowners who are selling up or being forced out by development,” volunteer co-ordinator for Mead Farm for Peel RDA Kristin Hosken said.

A site survey and pegging out of the site plan have been completed, as well as the structural engineering report, conservation management plan and asbestos audit of the homestead.

“The next step is council and government approval,” Mrs Hosken said.

“We’re hoping to get the outdoor arena up soon in order to commence lessons. In the meantime, we want to keep searching for funding because there are no services to the site, so we’re looking at going off the grid.”

Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby said the finished project would not only provide security and certainty to Peel RDA but there would be multiple benefits for the community.

The project will also preserve a very valuable heritage farmhouse that was falling to pieces,

he said.

“When everything is finished, Mead Farm will also end up being a great local tourist attraction and tearoom to help generate income for the RDA.”

“Peel RDA volunteers do an amazing job for kids with specials needs and it’s hard to think of a more worthy venture to support.”

Peel RDA provides equine-based therapy for people of all ages and disabilities.

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