New council HQ not on agenda

By Toby Walker

Mayor Ian Tiley has downplayed talk of a new council headquarters in South Grafton after the idea was discussed during a councillors' workshop earlier this month.

Councillor Richie Williamson queried the latest developments on plans to build a new council office at a greenfield site and expand council's Maclean office during the April 6 workshop.

The plan to centralise staff from seven offices into two main offices in Grafton and Maclean was first mooted during former council administrator Neil Payne's tenure.

But earlier this week Cr Til- ey hosed down any talk of a new council building in the near future.

"We've got short-term lease arrangements on existing council buildings to think about still," he said.

"I don't see the plans as a priority at all.

"This is a personal view but I think the council won't be giving serious consideration for some time.

"To go out and contemplate a new building now?

"Think about the repercussions in the community."

Completion of the Shannon Creek Dam project, the need to bed down a new rating structure and securing funding for improved infrastructure were some of the priorities Cr Tiley said came before plans for a new council building.

Council's acting general manager, Ken Boyle, had earlier in the week stated the plan was barely at the concept stage and was probably at least 3-5 years away from being looked at by council.

Cr Tiley did not put a time frame on it but said there were other factors to consider before any such plan could be seriously considered.

He said the need to adhere to fixed council staff quotas until 2007 meant existing offices would still be required for at least two years.

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