Prisoners tidy up at Gnomesville

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
VideoA big clean-up has begun after heavy rains washed away the top WA tourist town.

The Dardanup Shire Council has teamed up with the Department of Correctional Services to have prisoners clean and fix the population of Gnomesville.

Shire president Mick Bennett said teams would be attending the site every Tuesday over the next six months.

“They will be taking some of the gnomes to be repaired and be re-painted,” he said.

“They will also be removing some of the gnomes that have been broken beyond repair so the whole area becomes tidy.

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“We have got a lot of leaves and branches fallen around the place so they will be tidying them up so it becomes better for our viewing public.”

Mr Bennett said it was fantastic to be able to get help from the teams from Bunbury Regional Prison to enable the clean up.

“We would like this to be a continuing thing here at Gnomesville because it is for the people,” he said.

“What this clean up is all about is to make sure that Gnomesville is safe and that it remains a great place for people to visit.

“We don’t want it to lose its uniqueness, but we want it to be maintained properly because the people just love it.”

Prison superintendent Kerri Bishop said it was important to make sure all the processes were applied before bringing the prisoners out to work on the site.

“It is important that we maintain that the prisoners are kept safe and that the community is not at risk,” she said.

“It is usually the prisoners that are coming out just before they are finished and being discharged that will come to Gnomesville.

“It is also prisoners that have not had any incidents while they are custody and are also willing to participate in a program which offers them opportunities for re-entry back into the community.”

Supt Bishop said prisoners often benefited from community-based work.

“It is about giving back to the community but it is also a reparation to the community,” she said.

“The prison should really be involved in projects like this as the labour comes at no cost.

“It is the good will that we give back to the community ... and I think that is so valuable.

“I think it is wonderful that we are able to be a part of a program like this.”

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