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					                                       BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                              REPORT
                                                ON
                           OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS
                                                FOR
                                BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES


                                                                    Prepared by Mr. Graham Webb,
                                                                             Chief Executive Officer
                                                                        Friday 14th September, 2001.


The Mayor and Councillors,
Burdekin Shire Council.


Councillors

1.     INTRODUCTION

     1.1.       Council at its meeting on Thursday 13th September, 2001, agreed to deal with a
                Valuation Report prepared by Herron Todd White, Valuers, on the market value of
                the light industrial premises at 4 McCathie Street, Ayr. This report was
                commissioned to establish the market value of the property proposed to be
                acquired, by negotiation with the owner, for headquarters for the Burdekin
                Branch of the State Emergency Services.

     1.2.       Herron Todd White, Valuers, also assessed the market value of the light industrial
                premises at 45 Hoey Street, Ayr, the current site for headquarters of the Burdekin
                Branch of the State Emergency Services.

2.     BACKGROUND

     2.1.       The Local Controller, Mr. Kody Royal, Burdekin State Emergency Services, has for
                some time reported on the adequacy of the Burdekin Shire State Emergency
                Service headquarters in Hoey Street, Ayr.

     2.2.       This report does not disclose the full history of dealings in negotiations between Mr.
                Royal, the Mayor Councillor Woods, the Director of Administrative Services Mr.
                Mulcahy, and myself over the last year. However, the Council is provided with
                the necessary background information to make an informed decision on various
                options for the new Burdekin State Emergency Services headquarters.

     2.3.       Summarised is the recent history for the establishment of new headquarters for the
                Burdekin Branch of the State Emergency Services.

            2.3.1.    Burdekin Local Government Counter Disaster Committee, supports Council
                      decision to set aside a vacant allotment – Lot 65, McCathie Street (Ayr
                      Industrial Estate) for the establishment of a new State Emergency Services
                      headquarters. (March 2001).

            2.3.2.    Mr. Paul McAlonan, District Manager, Counter Disaster and Rescue Services,
                      commissioned to undertake a feasibility study to ascertain the most suitable
                      location and design for the proposed new headquarters.
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                              BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                          REPORT
                                            ON
  OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                              Friday 14th September, 2001.




2.3.3.    Comprehensive report on Mr. Paul McAlonan’s assessment of the building
          needs of the Burdekin Shire SES Headquarters and the evaluation of the
          present facility against the proposed new facility on the vacant Lot 65,
          McCathie Street (279103 – 01.10.03) received on 3rd May, 2001.

2.3.4.    Mr. McAlonan reported that the proposed new facility be constructed on
          Lot 65 McCathie Street, Ayr as this was the preferred option for the future
          needs of the Burdekin Shire SES Unit for training and operational
          requirements. In his summary Mr. McAlonan reported the proposed new
          facility would meet all criteria for an adequate SES Headquarters and in
          some cases exceed them.

2.3.5.    The Chief Executive Officer and Executive Officer – Burdekin Local
          Government Counter Disaster Committee in a report to Council (279454 –
          01.10.03) recommended that Council accept the assessment by Mr.
          McAlonan on the accommodation needs of the Burdekin Shire SES and that
          provision be made in the Council’s 2001/2002 budget for construction of
          new headquarters on the vacant allotment at Lot 65 McCathie Street, Ayr.

2.3.6.    The Chief Executive Officer’s recommendation for construction of the new
          headquarters on the site of Lot 65 McCathie Street, Ayr Industrial Estate, in
          the Council’s 2001/2002 budget, was considered by the Administration and
          Finance Committee at its meeting on 22nd May, 2001 with the
          recommendation not adopted at that stage.

2.3.7.    Following consultation between Mr. Royal, Mr. Mulcahy and Mr. Ferraris,
          Partner – Progress Consultants Pty. Ltd., plans, and budget estimates as “a
          rough guide” for future planning purposes, were prepared for SES
          headquarters on the vacant allotment at Lot 65 McCathie Street, Ayr
          (283557 – 01.10.03).

2.3.8.    The estimate for the works, including the main building, prefabricated steel
          framed garage area, and external covered parking bays ranged from
          $290,000 to $320,000 inclusive of GST. All site works were EXCLUDED from
          these estimates. Therefore the driveways, hard stand parking area,
          landscaping, signage etc. were not included in the amount quoted.

2.3.9.    The quoted prices included painting, basic floor coverings, and basic fit
          outs for kitchen etc. and a completed building would only require
          moveable furnishings such as desks and the like.

2.3.10.   In a report dated 28th May, 2001 to the Mayor, Councillor Woods, (281264 –
          01.10.03) the Local Controller, Mr. Kody Royal, reported on the availability
          and suitability of a masonry block office and warehouse facility having an
          estimated gross floor area of 769 square metres. The warehouse is located
          at Lot 13, 4 McCathie Street, Ayr with a spare block at Lot 30, 10 Bird Street,
          Ayr.
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                                          BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                      REPORT
                                                        ON
              OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                                          Friday 14th September, 2001.




            2.3.11.   On 9th July, 2001 a sub-committee comprising the Mayor, Councillor Woods,
                      Councillors Loizou, Davies, and Parison, and Messrs. Royal, McAlonan and
                      Mulcahy inspected the site and other sites on Airdmillan Road, McCathie
                      Street and the existing headquarters of Hoey Street. At the meeting, a
                      number of issues were considered including the total cost of buildings, the
                      extent of available subsidies, joint usage with other bodies, the possible use
                      of the building for meetings, increased membership of SES, the formation of
                      SES cadet programme, and shed space which may be suitable for storage
                      of Burdekin Theatre props and equipment.

            2.3.12.   The issue of establishing new headquarters for the Burdekin Branch of State
                      Emergency Services was the subject of discussions during the preparation of
                      the Council’s 2001/2002 budget and in framing the 3 year budget.

            2.3.13.   Council at its meeting held on 18th July, 2001 (Preliminary Budget Meeting)
                      agreed to purchase the property at 4 McCathie Street, Ayr (Industrial Estate
                      for use as a new SES Headquarters) subject to the sale of the existing SES
                      Headquarters in Hoey Street, Ayr, with the payment of the proposed loan
                      borrowings funded from the SES operational costs budget vote.

            2.3.14.   Council at its Budget Meeting on 14th August, 2001 provided funds of
                      $400,000 for the purchase of an existing building to house the State
                      Emergency Services Headquarters. In doing so the Mayor reported in his
                      Budget Address that the existing facilities in Hoey Street were inadequate to
                      service the current number of volunteers and to provide an operational
                      base in times of disaster and emergency. It was publicly announced at the
                      time that Council plan to sell the Hoey Street premises (present SES
                      headquarters) and to secure a State Government grant of $15,000.00 and
                      to obtain a loan for the balance. The operational budget of the SES was
                      reduced to fund the interest and redemption costs of the new loan.

            2.3.15.   The Council’s five year Works Programme reveals that a loan of $285,000 will
                      be raised for the purpose, with revenue of $100,000 and State Government
                      subsidy of $15,000, provided for the total estimate of $400,000.

            2.3.16.   Valuation reports from Herron Todd White, Valuers, have been obtained in
                      respect of the Hoey Street and McCathie Street properties and these
                      detailed reports will be tabled at the meeting.

            2.3.17.   If the Hoey Street property was sold in the range of the valuer’s valuation for
                      the land, workshop and office/storage areas, and the industrial property in
                      McCathie/Bird Streets with a land area of 2,620 square metres was acquired
                      at or below the valuer’s current market value, the total project package
                      would be within the budget limits set by Council.

3.     FURTHER OPTION ADVANCED BY CEO, DIRECTORS AND MANAGERS FOR CONSIDERATION
       BY COUNCIL

     3.1.       At a recent meeting of Directors/Managers (also attended by the Purchasing
                Officer, Mr. Drew, and the Workshop Foreman, Mr. Holt) following the Council’s
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                                     BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                 REPORT
                                                   ON
         OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                                     Friday 14th September, 2001.




           Budget Meeting convened for the purpose of finalising operational plans and the
           development of strategies for implementation of Council budget decisions, and
           in the light of Council’s decision not to provide three year budget funding for the
           Jones Street workshop/store redevelopment, it was suggested that Council
           explore the possibility of establishing the Burdekin State Emergency Services
           Headquarters on the Jones Street site.

3.2.       As CEO, I have been challenged on why this suggestion has been advanced at
           this time, particularly when Council’s decision making process on funding new
           headquarters for the Burdekin Branch of the State Emergency Service has
           centred on the establishment of a headquarters in a purpose built building on Lot
           65 McCathie Street or to acquire the building at 4 McCathie Street.

3.3.       For my part I concede and accept that the current suggested option was not a
           consideration at any time in the preliminary planning processes over the last
           twelve months in the lead up to Council’s decision.

3.4.       My changed position, supported by the Directors, Managers, Purchasing Officer
           and Workshop Foreman of the Burdekin Shire Council was influenced by the
           following:-

       3.4.1.    Council’s decision not to provide additional capital expenditure over the
                 next three years on the Jones Street workshop redevelopment;

       3.4.2.    A need to ensure maximum usage of all Council buildings and to avoid
                 duplication wherever possible;

       3.4.3.    The Council’s budget documents and budget decisions which reveal that
                 the Council’s 2001/2002 budget identified unfunded depreciation liability of
                 $1,708,672 and Council’s concern over this issue;

       3.4.4.    Recognition by the Council, myself, Directors, and Managers, that
                 unfunding depreciation is not sustainable in the long term and that if not
                 addressed, Council will be unable to maintain the level of assets at their
                 current levels, given the existing revenue stream of the Council;

       3.4.5.    Rate increases projected as part of the three-year budget for the next two
                 financial years, and the expectation by Council that management will co-
                 operate with Council by reviewing all programmes which may bring about
                 an outcome for rate increases less than those predicted for the coming two
                 financial years;

       3.4.6.    Sound management reasons for provision of emergency services by the
                 State Emergency Service in a purpose built facility at the Jones Street
                 precinct including –

                        Maximising use by Council staff and SES personnel of training
                         facilities within the building and thus avoiding transport costs for
                         Council personnel to another site i.e. McCathie Street, the Theatre
                         Music Loft, or Ayr Ambulance Training Rooms;
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                            BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                        REPORT
                                          ON
OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                            Friday 14th September, 2001.




               Fuel facilities for SES vehicles are on site, together with access for
                material supplies from Council’s store;

               Access to Council’s workshop on site for any repairs to SES vehicles
                and equipment;

               By its positioning a new purpose built facility will address some (but
                not all) of the dust problems currently being experienced in the store
                and workshop areas;

               Counter Disaster (emergency) buildings e.g. hospitals, Council’s
                Engineering Disaster Room were (at the time the McCathie Street
                building was constructed) designed for return periods of 100 years.
                The building at 4 McCathie Street was, on the advice of Council’s
                Building Department, designed for a 50 year return period (i.e. not as
                strong as the 100 year option). The bull-nose awning on the existing
                McCathie Street building does not specifically add strength to the
                building (advice Mr. Davis, Principal Building Surveyor). Any awning
                which may prevent projectiles striking the main building will add
                strength to the building;

               Toilet facilities for the building at 4 McCathie Street, Ayr, on the
                advice of Council’s Principal Building Surveyor, would not be
                adequate for up to 45 staff (Section F 2.3 of the Building Code of
                Australia);

               The building layout plan prepared by Progress Consultants for
                establishment on the vacant parcel of land at Lot 65, McCathie
                Street, Ayr, could be amended if required to meet the requirements
                of the SES and Council for a purpose built building at Jones Street.
                The driveway arrangements at Jones Street could be specifically
                designed for SES requirements;

               The Jones Street complex is well lit and surrounded by a security
                fence with no additional costs for security services. (With any new
                building on the McCathie Street site, the services of Burdekin Night
                Alert may be required to a greater extent, as the existing security
                services for Hoey Street are only checking for security of the gate
                and not the total security surveillance of the building.);

               The avoidance of duplication in the provision of amenities to cater
                for the Council’s workforce and the 45 volunteers from the SES.

               The ease in coordinating any emergency response involving Council
                and the SES from one location.

               The floor level of 4 McCathie Street is 640 mm lower than the floor
                slab in the Jones Street depot for the workshop, stores and old
                stores’ building. The road levels for access to Jones Street and
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                                        BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                    REPORT
                                                      ON
            OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                                        Friday 14th September, 2001.




                            McCathie Street are approximately the same and the general level
                            of the Jones Street depot is slightly higher than the general level of 4
                            McCathie Street, Ayr.

                           Although I don’t have figures to back up my claim, it would be
                            expected that annual operating costs for a new purpose built
                            building on the Jones Street precinct, with operational costs shared
                            between Council and SES budget votes, would be less than the
                            existing building at 4 McCathie Street, Ayr (although this building is a
                            relatively new building);

                           An improved more harmonious working arrangement between
                            Council’s workforce and SES volunteers would, in my opinion, result
                            from the facilities being located in the one area with shared use of
                            training and amenity facilities;

                           If the Jones Street site is supported by Council, it would provide
                            additional work for local firm, Progress Consultants Pty. Ltd.,
                            Consulting Civil and Construction Engineers, in being commissioned
                            to prepare the final plans, specifications and estimates for a new
                            building;

                           Although not guaranteed, after any tenders are called, the
                            opportunity may exist for a local builder/building company to be
                            awarded any tender for the construction of a new building, subject
                            to a local builder being the most advantageous tender received.

4.     DISCUSSIONS WITH MAYOR AND SES PERSONNEL ON OPTIONS FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF
       BURDEKIN SHIRE SES HEADQUARTERS.

     4.1.     Following the Directors’/Managers’ meeting, I met with the Mayor Councillor
              Woods and Local Controller, Mr. Kody Royal, on Friday 24 th August, 2001 to discuss
              the option advanced by myself and senior Managers on the joint use of a
              purpose built building in Jones Street as an alternative to the purchase of a
              building at 4 McCathie Street, Ayr.

     4.2.     In summary Mr. Royal was totally dismissive of the Jones Street option. He
              undertook to discuss the joint use of a purpose built building by Council and SES
              staff (joint use is defined as those parts of any new building which could be jointly
              used by Council and SES personnel i.e. training facilities and toilet/shower
              facilities).

     4.3.     In a report to the Mayor, Councillor Woods, dated 26th August, 2001, also
              provided to me, the Local Controller reported that he and his group leaders (Ayr,
              Home Hill, Clare and Giru) were overwhelmingly against the Jones Street option
              for SES headquarters.

     4.4.     With the Mayor’s knowledge and agreement, I met with Mr. Royal and Local
              Group Leaders, Messrs. Winn, Creek, and Skipper, and Council employee/SES
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                                        BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                    REPORT
                                                      ON
            OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                                        Friday 14th September, 2001.




              member, Mr. Bohne-Kobo, at SES headquarters, Hoey Street, Ayr, on the evening
              of Monday 10th September, 2001.

     4.5.     After providing a detailed overview of the facts and circumstances relied on by
              me and senior management in support of the Jones Street option, the position of
              the SES personnel remained unchanged. Their preference and priorities for the
              establishment of new headquarters for the Burdekin SES are as follows:-

                     First Preference – purchase of property and vacant parcel of land at 4
                      McCathie Street, Ayr.

                     Second Preference – establish a purpose built building as per
                      recommendation in McAlonan’s report at Lot 65 McCathie Street, Ayr.

     4.6      My reasons and those of senior management in support of the Jones Street option
              are outlined in Clause 3.4.

     4.7     To ensure Council is in a position to make an informed decision on the
             establishment of new headquarters for the Burdekin SES, I have enclosed the Local
             Controller, Mr. Kody Royal’s report (281264 – 01.10.03) on his assessment of the
             McCathie Street facility and his reasons and recommendations why this complex is
             considered the most suitable site for SES headquarters.

5.     TIMING FOR FINALISING COUNCIL’S POSITION ON ESTABLISHMENT OF HEADQUARTERS
       FOR BURDEKIN SHIRE SES

     5.1.     In my discussions with SES personnel, there is a belief that subject to a prompt
              decision being made by Council in support of their recommendation for
              purchase of the property at 4 McCathie Street, and the sale of the existing SES
              headquarters in Hoey Street, that the branch could be transferred and
              operational in advance of the coming flood and cyclone period.

     5.2.     In my discussions with SES personnel last Monday night, I hadn’t checked the
              current status and timing for loan funding for this project.

     5.3.     If the Council resolved to negotiate the purchase of the premises at 4 McCathie
              Street, Ayr, in advance of obtaining the necessary loan approvals from
              Queensland Treasury, it could only do so by a resolution to draw down on
              Council’s substantial cash reserves. Prior to doing so, Council will need to
              establish the subsidy of $15,000 (or more if Council can negotiate an increased
              subsidy) would be forthcoming for this project. The State Government is reluctant
              to approve subsidy retrospectively for capital works projects.

     5.4.     Also, by drawing down on cash reserves, there is always the risk (although slight)
              that the Council’s loan approval application may not be approved for loan
              borrowing purposes.

     5.5.     As this project has only this year been added to the Council’s five years Works
              Programme, it could not be expected that Treasury approval to raise the amount
              of $285,000 would be forthcoming before this time next year.
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                                         BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                    REPORT
                                                      ON
            OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                                        Friday 14th September, 2001.




6.     OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

     6.1.     As Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Officer of the Burdekin Local
              Government Counter Disaster Committee, I strongly support the need to establish
              new headquarters for the Burdekin Branch of the State Emergency Services.

     6.2.     The Burdekin Shire and Burdekin Branches of the State Emergency Services are
              held in extremely high regard by emergency personnel at a State and National
              level in terms of their operational efficiency, leadership, staffing levels, buildings
              and equipment, knowledge and skill of personnel, and response successes to
              emergency situations.

     6.3.     In arriving at a decision and a choice of the three options, Council should look
              beyond “the here and now” and agree on one of the three options which will
              ensure the long term success in the provision of emergency services in this
              community.

     6.4.     Council are requested to accept that whilst new capital expenditure has not
              been provided to complete the Jones Street workshop redevelopment, there are
              a number of outstanding projects on the complex, particularly sewerage
              connection, sealing of trafficked areas, weighbridge, amenities block, light trucks’
              cover, and gardener’s shed, which will be required at some time in the future as
              part of Council’s review of the five year plan.

     6.5.     The long outstanding need to establish appropriate storage areas for props and
              material from the Burdekin Theatre, is accepted, although not provided for in the
              current budget. It is acknowledged that the storage building at the rear of the
              property at 4 McCathie Street, Ayr would be suitable for this purpose.

     6.6.     At this stage it is difficult to compare the final costs for either the 4 McCathie
              Street option or a purpose built building at either Lot 65 McCathie Street or Jones
              Street. For the latter two options, estimates only are available at this time. For the
              4 McCathie Street option, it would be expected that any final purchase price
              would be determined on the negotiating skills of Council representatives and the
              Vendor. Also, the unknown is whether there is a ready market for the existing SES
              headquarters in Hoey Street.

7.     RECOMMENDATION

     7.1.     It is recommended that the Council set a reserve price for sale of the existing SES
              headquarters located at 45 Hoey Street, Ayr, and that this property be offered for
              sale, noting that Council will need to negotiate with any purchaser, or include in
              the sale specification, the timing for transfer of the building in the light of the
              forthcoming flood and cyclone season.

     7.2.     After taking into account all the facts and circumstances for the three options
              presented for Burdekin Shire SES Headquarters, Council support the preparation of
              plans, specifications and estimates utilising the services of Progress Consultants
              Pty. Ltd. for a purpose built building suitably fitted out along a similar design to that
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                                      BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                  REPORT
                                                    ON
          OPTIONS FOR PROVISION OF NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR BURDEKIN STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES
                                      Friday 14th September, 2001.




            prepared by the Consultants located on the Jones Street precinct with the
            estimate not to exceed $320,000, noting the building will include facilities i.e.
            training room, toilet and shower facilities, which may be jointly used by Council
            and SES personnel.

   7.3.     That the balance of Council’s budget be utilised to construct a purpose built
            storage shed to house props and equipment for the Burdekin Theatre, with a
            committee comprising representatives of the Burdekin Cultural Complex Board
            and senior management of Burdekin Shire Council, finalising a site on the Jones
            Street precinct for this project.

   7.4.     That Council make application for State Government subsidy for the construction
            of new headquarters for the SES and if necessary further representations be made
            to State Government Ministers for subsidy over and above the existing subsidy of
            $15,000 available for construction of SES headquarters.

   7.5.     That application be made to Queensland Treasury for a special loan approval of
            $285,000 in the 2001/2002 financial year for loan borrowing for SES headquarters
            noting that this project is included in the Council’s five year works programme,
            and that if for any reason the application is not approved, that Council seek
            Treasury approval to proceed with this project from cash reserves in the
            knowledge that loan approval will be forthcoming in the future.

   7.6.     If the recommendations contained in 7.2 and 7.3 above are not adopted by
            Council and Council resolves to support the purchase of land at 4 McCathie
            Street, Ayr, Council set an upper limit for the purchase and acknowledge
            negotiations can not be concluded with the Vendor until issues in 7.4 and 7.5
            above are satisfactorily resolved.




G. J. WEBB
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
BURDEKIN SHIRE COUNCIL
And
EXECUTIVE OFFICER,
BURDEKIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNTER DISASTER COMMITTEE

				
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