Moving 80 Bundaberg Regional Council staff into the Auswide building in Bundaberg is set to improve efficiency and help invigorate the CBD.
Planning and Development Section staff moved into the building today and Infrastructure Services staff from Bargara will follow in the next few weeks.
Council chief executive Steve Johnston said relocating staff from Bargara had always been intended at the time of local government amalgamations in 2008.
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 Road 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,” he said.
“Bundaberg CBD traders will benefit from having extra workers in the area to buy meals and services during their breaks.
“Council is currently assessing expressions of interest for use of the Bargara buildings, with a clear focus on providing a community benefit.”
Council Auswide move provides one-stop shop
Mr Johnston said Council was leasing the top two floors of the Auswide building, providing a “one-stop shop” for customers wanting to interact with Council infrastructure, engineering and planning staff.
He said the $1.5 million cost of the fit-out would be offset over the next few years through operational efficiencies. Local sub-contractors were employed to complete the work.
“We’ve also created a carpark in Crofton Street for Council employees with 76 spaces, which means there will be no additional pressure on parking in the CBD,” he said.
Group Manager Development Michael Ellery said the Auswide move enabled the department to be located altogether.
“For the first time all of our team will be in the one space,” he said.
“Moving in here we’ll be able to see each other, talk to each other and know more easily what’s going on.
“It will feel like we’re a real team, all of us, for the first time.”
Relocation of the development group from Bourbong Street has created space for all Councillors to have offices there. Several Councillors are currently located in Quay Street.
Mr Johnston said no decision has been made regarding the future of the Quay Street building. The Auswide move is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Customers are advised that from Monday, 15 July all building and planning counter enquiries should be made at level 6 of the Auswide building, 20 Barolin Street, Bundaberg.