Kiama councillor Neil Reilly has made a bold proposal to repurpose the Kiama Council Administration building and replace it with a multi-level car park.
Cr Reilly requested a report from council staff, which would examine the possibility of a relocation of the offices, at the last council meeting.
“The reasons I would like to relocate council’s admin offices are threefold,’ he said.
“These being employee well-being, economics and for better use of space.”
Cr Reilly said he was taken aback by what he saw when he had his first tour of the office space in 2008.
“When he first wandered into the labyrinthine back offices of our council’s admin centre, I was shocked at what I perceived as crowded and uncomfortable conditions with 1980s style partitions forming corridors and little boxes of offices,” he said.
“We are a trying to attract and retain the very best of the best – we simply don’t have the money to pay enormous salaries, so our working conditions need to be top notch.
One look at the ‘Bombay call centre’ style workplace is not helping.Cr Neil Reilly
There was no provision for councillors inside the building, apart from the mayoral office, which Cr Reilly described as “a spartan, dark hole furnished in a style which could only be described as early garage sale”.
Cr Reilly believes a relocation into an existing council site would create an opportunity to deliver a workplace that council could be proud of.
“Economically, we are sited in the some of the best, most expensive and desirable real estate in Kiama,” he said.
“All around us developers and builders are seeking to exploit the fortunes to be made from this, the scenic and most central part of town – close to the station, close to shops and a walk to the blowhole with ocean views.”
Cr Reilly wishes to retain the old council chambers and said ratepayers would benefit from the proposal.
“The site occupies a space perfect for a public car park, a guest hotel and some high-end apartments,” he said.
“This use of the property, if it is physically possible, appropriately supported and financially feasible, would result in the highest value to our community.
“We need parking, we need hotel rooms, we need the money, this is why I have called for a report for this bold move.”
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