Pam Soper.
Pam Soper.

Council confirms it will not sell off Bargara offices

BUNDABERG Regional Council's economic development director confirmed the council offices in Bargara will not be sold.

Executive director Ben Artup said the building in Hughes Rd will be made available to the public, following the decision to consolidate its staff to the Bundaberg offices.

"Expressions of interest were previously invited and the responses are currently being considered," Mr Artup said.

The NewsMail understands the decision on the result of the expression of interest be announced within several weeks.

Mr Artup responded to questions after Bargara resident Pam Soper asked for confirmation on the future use of the building.

"Ratepayers are funding the cost of leasing two floors of the Auswide building in Bundaberg and office space at central Bargara," Ms Soper said.

"Is it possible the council wants to balance the 2020 budget from the sale of its valuable Bargara real estates?
"Councillors apparently know nothing or are not allowed to speak out.

"Has the CEO been delegated to make the decision, and to decide if and when residents will be informed of what is going on?"

Ms Soper said it had been a year since Bargara residents learned that the council was planning to sell or lease the building.

There had been several meetings where attendees expressed the idea that the building should be kept in public hands and used as an arts and activity hub.

She wanted confirmed that the council would not sell the building.

"To dispose of publicly owned facilities now would be extremely shortsighted given the rapidly increasing population at Bargara and adjoining coastal areas," Ms Soper said.

"A public meeting space and activity centre, perhaps even a library, at Hughes Rd will become even more essential for the benefit of all residents and ratepayers living east of the Hummock."