No WA Wheatbelt town has been in the news as much as Moora in recent times. On Tuesday 13 March, residents and supporters descended on Parliament House in Perth to protest the closing of Moora Residential College.
The new state government inherited a bad set of books when it took over last March and set about making some decisions. Some were terrible. The closing of the School of the Air. The closing of the Northam and Moora boarding facilties for rural high school students and the naming of Perth Stadium. They stepped back from a couple of those decisions but it seems Moora is one where they’re determined to stand tough.
I’ve wandered around the Wheatbelt more than most people over the past couple of years. It’s obvious creative thinking is required to keep these towns going. Royalties for Regions was creative… maybe a bit too creative and not quite focussed enough. I’ve seen some brilliant results from this funding and some shockers.
Closing Moora Residential College won’t fix the budget but it will give the town a kick. The government is worried about looking weak if it backs down again. But a reversal might just be a winning move.
Moora has a long and proud footy history that started moving in 1908. There was a Moora Football Association that became the Central Midlands Football League. In 1947 two teams, Rovers and Warriors, were created in Moora and played in the CMFL and then, from 1992, the Central Midlands Coastal Football Association. Rovers and Warrors were bitter rivals sharing the footy ground at the Showgrounds but socialising in separate pubs. No local player has done more than Ian “Bobby” Wyatt who, among other things, played 356 games for Rovers and won the JJ Lussick Medal, the CMCFA’s top individual award, six times.
In 2012 Moora stopped being a two-team town. The Moora Mavericks were formed.
There’s one of those electronic things at the Showgrounds. I ignored it and put a score up on the real scoreboard.