Mould issue closes venue

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph

The Matt Dann Theatre and Cinema in Port Hedland remains closed until further notice, after staff discovered an outbreak of mould in the facility last month.

The Town of Port Hedland made the decision to close the facility after further investigations revealed the mould had spread throughout the building.

Town of Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco said while the mould did not pose a health risk, a decision had been made to close the building to undertake preventative measures so it didn’t become a health risk.

“Community health and safety is our priority and we take it very seriously,” he said.

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“The specialists are completing testing on the air-conditioning system and all areas of the venue to understand the full scope of the mould spread.

“It is important to us to reopen the facility, however, community health and safety is our priority, so we will take all necessary steps to remove all traces of mould and to limit further mould growth.”

The Town said until testing was completed, it was unable to confirm an opening date, but investigations were expected to take around four weeks.

“Together with our partners in the facility, the Department of Education, the Town wants to assure all community members who have been in the building that there has been no risk to health and safety to individuals,” a spokesman said.

Matt Dann Theatre and Cinema management said the hot and humid weather had contributed to the mould, and assured the public it was not a risk to public health.

As a result of the closure, the Fringe World Variety Gala, which was scheduled to be held at the venue, was relocated to the JD Hardie Youth Zone.

Scheduled movies have been cancelled, and the facility’s management has advised it will contact anyone who has purchased a ticket for a full refund, but cannot guarantee future screenings.

Fringe World regional producer Georgia Foulkes-Taylor said no one was to blame for the unforeseeable change in venue. She said the theatre had organised additional lighting and technology that was not available at JD Hardie Youth Zone before notifying Fringe there had been an issue.

“The crew at Matt Dann were really helpful in making the transition as seamless as possible,” she said.

“The room at JD Hardie was quite basic, but with the extra light, sound, and technology, we knew the event would still go ahead and be awesome.

“Due to the circumstances, it was the best outcome we could have asked for.”

Staff members have been temporarily relocated to the Civic Centre and the Town has apologised for any inconvenience.

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