PREMARKET: Two pre-market workshops for the council's Bargara buildings will be open for community consultation - the first tomorrow.
PREMARKET: Two pre-market workshops for the council's Bargara buildings will be open for community consultation - the first tomorrow. Contributed

Council building to become ag-tech hub

THE future of the Bundaberg Regional Council administration building in Bargara and the region's prospects to become an agricultural technology hub of excellence are set to align following the recent call for tenders at the Hughes Rd building.

Having received a clear message from the community about the future of the admin building, Division 5 Councillor Greg Barnes said the council had developed the "ideal solution" which would service the community and major industry.

While the building remains in council's hands as a community asset, Cr Barnes said they have an entity who's very keen on coming in and being the anchor for what would be an "agricultural hub of excellence".

He said agriculture was a leading industry fro Bundaberg, with plenty of big players, and to create a space where information and facilities can be shared could be the foundations for a hub of excellence.

Because of confidentiality, the interested party cannot be revealed, but Cr Barnes said they were a "highly credible organisation".

"Once they're in we can invite other people to join, they can share information with this entity and it will be value adding," he said.

"These guys can work together and take advantage of one anothers' IT.

The council's executive director strategic projects and economic development Ben Artup said negotiations were under way with a significant ag tech-related tenant for a substantial part of the building.

"We're now seeking to attract other complementary tenants to create an incubator-style facility that leverages the region's strength as one of Australia's largest agricultural regions," he said.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said ag tech had the ability to drive innovation and productivity across the farming sector by mixing like-minded entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers in one co-located facility.

"The use of real-time data in monitoring and testing agricultural innovations in Bundaberg will open up new economic opportunities for the region," he said.
"To get this right, we need to build an environment where the right people can mix and work together."

Cr Barnes said there would also be about three room available to the community, for meetings, exercise or whatever they like, all of which have their own entrance.

"I commend council, I think they've listened to the community, I think they've done a good job and I support what's been proposed," Cr Barnes said.

"At the end of the day, we want to see the community use this and we want to see it also assist the major industry that we have in the region."

Nobby Clarke's masterpiece Denizens of the Deep will also remain in the admin centre where it is safe and on display.

There are no changes at the Bargara Cultural Centre, which remains a council-owned building, available for community use.

Lease tenders now open and close on Tuesday, February 11 2020.

Tender documents can be accessed at www.lgtenderbox.com.au.