Green space before green light for new council headquarters
MARYBOROUGH’S old council administration site on Kent St will be grassed over and made into an attractive open area as Fraser Coast councillors ponder the best way to headquarter council staff based in Maryborough.
Councillor Paul Truscott said the siting of new council offices would affect Maryborough for
generations in a time where the viability of inner-city areas depended on pedestrian traffic and
diverse activity in traditional retail streets.
That consideration is also governing the relocation of the regional council’s Hervey Bay headquarters from Tavistock St to the Pialba business district.
Since the former Maryborough administration building opposite the City Hall was deemed past its use-by date and demolished, Maryborough-based staff have been temporarily “all over the place,” Cr Truscott said.
About 100 council staff members are believed to be based in Maryborough.
A council vote two months ago confirmed that current staff numbers would be maintained in the city.
Most staffers are based in Rocky St. A customer service shop in Adelaide St has been
welcomed by business owners as it has created more foot traffic.
“It’s a bit expensive paying a lot of rents but we want to make sure the decision we make is the right one,” said Cr Truscott
The future of the library in Bazaar St is also up in the air.
“It needs upgrading,” Cr Truscott said.
“It’s not suitable for 2020. Modern libraries are no longer quiet places where old ladies go ‘shush’.
“They are lively places for children with busy activities and technology developments such as robotics.”
An option to incorporate the library with the rest of the administration offices on the former site in Kent St is still on the cards – with reservations. Space is restricted, with a strong lobby group opposed to the demolishment of the former baby clinic on the corner of Lennox and Kent Sts.
Cr Truscott said he personally favoured the former clinic being turned into an information centre, but all cards were still on the table.
The library at present anchors the south-east corner of the CBD. Its relocation to the Kent St site to be merged with the administration offices would drain activity and pedestrian traffic to the north-west corner of the city centre.
Re-purposing of heritage buildings in the centre of the city has also been considered.