ISLAMIC communities in Perth’s south-eastern suburbs are looking forward to having a local place of worship.
City of Gosnells councillors voted last month to approve a development company’s proposal to build a mosque in Southern River and it has gone to the WA Planning Commission for final approval.
At the corner of Southern River Road and Leslie Street, it will have a prayer hall, conference room and car park.
Islamic Association of Southern Districts secretary Matthew (Suleyman) Foster said it would be the only mosque between Welshpool and Rockingham. He said Muslims in Gosnells, Thornlie and Canning Vale were presently using small prayer sites close to home.
“The mosque has great significance in Islam as a holy place; a prayer site doesn’t have that,” he said.
Mr Foster said his community planned to recognise the site’s Aboriginal heritage, help care for nearby bushland and support women’s groups.
“In Islam, those things are part of prayer… so a mosque isn’t just a place to pray, it’s a place where all the aspects of religion are supported and the mosque becomes a central part of a community,” he said.
The proposal attracted 18 objections, mostly about parking, light, noise and opening hours – five one-hour prayer times a day between 6am and 9pm, with about 40 people expected at most sessions.
Mr Foster said the Association represented people from more than 36 countries, including Australia.