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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Roundhouse works announced

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The Ocean Shores Roundhouse has moved closer to being sold after Byron Shire Council voted last Thursday to award the tender to M Bashforths & Sons to subdivide the property.

It comes despite a last minute attempt by Jan Mangleson from the Roundhouse Action Group (RAG) to buy the 1.4ha prime real estate which would see it developed as an arts and cultural centre for community use while selling some of the land to pay for it. At Thursday’s open public access, Mrs Mangleson asked Council for 60 days to produce a financial plan.

‘We’re serious about this, we are looking at how to save it. We took on the advice from the mayor, who said he would consider selling it to the community at 70 per cent of the expected price.’

The Council-owned property overlooking Ocean Shores has a long history. Most recently RAG presented plans that would see it developed as an arts and cultural centre while selling some of the land to pay for it.

Later in debate, councillors weighed up the possible costs in delaying the sale and allowing RAG to produce its plans.

Council’s executive manager of water and recycling, Phil Warner, advised councillors that delays could see the ‘status of the tenders being impacted.

‘A delay would mean that Council would need to go back to the tenderers and reconfirm the price based on the works being carried out 60 days later. It could result in a price increase.

‘It would also see the subdivision works potentially going over the Christmas holiday period and this too could result in increased costs,’ he said.

General manager, Ken Gainger, also added that the recently adopted Financial Sustainability Project Plan that saw the establishment of the Infrastructure Renewal Fund reserve, was predicated upon the sale of developed allotments on the Roundhouse site.

‘The objective of the reserve is to grow the fund and therefore enable priority works to be undertaken,’ Mr Gainger said.

‘The sale of the Roundhouse blocks will see the funds invested back into priority works in the north of the Shire. Delayed works, increased costs, or a reduced price could see less funds available for the priority works.

‘For the community to purchase the site, they would need to secure over $2.5 million. To achieve this within 60 days is unlikely and we need to progress the works so the financial gains can be returned to the community via priority works,’ Mr Gainger said.

M Bashforths & Sons were awarded $831,824.40 for the works. – Hans Lovejoy

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