Former GWN7 site purchased by Bunbury water company Aqwest

End of an era: The satellite dishes at the old GWN7 site were removed on Friday, April 8. Picture: Pip Waller
End of an era: The satellite dishes at the old GWN7 site were removed on Friday, April 8. Picture: Pip Waller

ONE of Western Australia's oldest television studios was deconstructed last week, more 50 years since its construction.

The former GWN7 site located on the corner of Roberts Crescent and Pickersgill Street in Bunbury was deconstructed on April 8 by water company, Aqwest.

Aqwest finalised the purchase of the building in June 2021 in order to improve the slope stability of Roberts Reservoir, which contains 13 million litres of water supplied to Bunbury households and businesses.

Aqwest chief officer Gary Hallsworth said buying the former GWN building was "essential" in order for Aqwest to rehabilitate the slope adjacent to the reservoir.

"The GWN building has been vacant for a good number of years so we thought purchasing it and removing it would help us achieve our goals in getting the reservoir stability work going," Mr Hallsworth said.

"Roberts Reservoir is Aqwest's major water storage facility, feeding the main part of Bunbury's CBD with water - so it's essential for us to rehabilitate the slope to make sure that the structural integrity of the reservoir remains.

"If we didn't buy the building, we would have had to build very extensive retaining walls to keep the slope stable, mainly because it's on sand dune country.

Team: Project manager Dean Kelly, Aqwest chief executive Gary Hallsworth, Aqwest chair Stanley Liaros and manager Cristiano Carvalho. Picture: Pip Waller

Team: Project manager Dean Kelly, Aqwest chief executive Gary Hallsworth, Aqwest chair Stanley Liaros and manager Cristiano Carvalho. Picture: Pip Waller

"But there's good outcomes all around because the local amenity for the neighborhood is improved as well as the stability of the slope."

The former GWN7 building, which opened on March 10, 1967, was the stomping ground for many regional media employees for more than 50 years.

GWN7 relocated to Spencer Street in 2018.

In order to recycle and repurpose the building, Aqwest invited City of Bunbury Museum staff to the site last year to collect memorabilia including a lighting desk, framed photographs and an 'On Air' sign.

The items will be featured in an exhibition scheduled for late 2022.

Mr Hallsworth said many other features of the site would also be recycled and repurposed.

Original building: The former GWN7 site opened in 1967 and closed around three years ago. Picture: Megan Lawless

Original building: The former GWN7 site opened in 1967 and closed around three years ago. Picture: Megan Lawless

"We've already had cabling and copper removed from the building, plus we'll also recycle the concrete which will be crushed down into road base and steel which will be repurposed.

"The final design isn't finished yet, but at this stage the site will look like an open area with a nice, grassy hill and native vegetation for the whole community to enjoy.

"Plus there will be tremendous view of the ocean."

The site will be fully demolished and refurbished over the next six months.

A plaque constructed from some of the building material recycled during the works will commemorate the site of the former GWN7 building.