FIRST STEP: Council will call for expressions of interest to develop the administration centre in Pialba.
FIRST STEP: Council will call for expressions of interest to develop the administration centre in Pialba. Contributed

Calls for new admin centre open after council vote

EXPRESSIONS of interest will soon be open for the development of the council's new Hervey Bay administration building in the heart of Pialba.

The historic move, approved unanimously at yesterday's council meeting in Hervey Bay, means the Fraser Coast Regional Council will take the first official steps to develop a new CBD for the Whale City after years of boardroom talks.

An amendment to the motion at yesterday's meeting will require the council to not consider buildings that require a lease, meaning the council will have total ownership of the new building.

Applications for the work are expected to be short-listed on March 27 before contract negotiations and signings get under way on June 30.

Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said the move could kick off possible decentralisation talks and lead to renewed business interest in Hervey Bay.

He told the Chronicle the current administration building on Tavistock St had become too crowded for council staff and it was not the best use of space.

"I'd like to see government offices decentralise out of our capital cities and come to regional areas and this could be a good opportunity to partner up with someone to make that happen,” Cr Everard said.

"It's a very exciting time for the region, to go down this pathway.

"This building here has got challenges and we need to move into a building that's fit for challenges.”

The development of the new administration building in Pialba was identified as one of the key moves in the Hervey Bay CBD Urban Renewal Master Plan.

A project board recommended the council proceed with calls for EOIs on the new building. Parts of the plan, including the administration building moving to Pialba, were endorsed by councillors in September.



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