$1.5m to fit out leased space for council staff
MOVING Bundaberg Regional Council staff to the top two floors of the Auswide building has come at a $1.5 million cost to ratepayers.
But council CEO Steve Johnston said the fit-out costs to transform the leased space would be offset over the next few years through operational efficiencies.
In total 80 council staff will move into the top two floors of the six-storey Auswide building, with staff from the planning and development section the first to make the move today.
Infrastructure services staff will follow in the next few weeks with the relocation set to be completed by the end of August.
Today a council spokesman said local sub-contractors were employed to complete most of the work.
In July last year, the council announced it had secured the lease of the Auswide building's top two levels, and today Mr Johnston said relocation of staff from Bargara had always been intended at the time of local government amalgamations in 2008.
The move meant the council needed more space in the CBD to bring Bargara and Bundaberg staff together.
"The $1.5 million cost of the fit-out will be offset over the next few years through operational efficiencies,” Mr Johnston said.
"A customer service centre opened in the Bargara shopping precinct in May, which is more convenient for coastal residents than the former Hughes Rd facility.
"It will be terrific to have council staff working together in close proximity, saving thousands of dollars a year in travel costs and improving communications.
"Bundaberg CBD traders will benefit from having extra workers in the area to buy meals and services during their breaks.
"By leasing the top two floors of the Auswide building, council will provide a one-stop shop for customers wanting to interact with infrastructure, engineering and planning staff.
"A carpark has been established in Crofton St for council employees with 76 spaces, which means there will be no additional pressure on parking in the CBD.”
The council is currently assessing expressions of interest for use of the Bargara buildings, with "a clear focus on providing a community benefit”.