By Jeremy Sollars
Southern Downs councillors at their December 2019 meeting voted in favour of awarding building contracts relating to the re-location of the Warwick Men’s Shed, the Warwick Woodcrafters and the Warwick State Emergency Service (SES).
Minutes from the confidential section of the last council meeting for 2019 held on Wednesday 18 December show Warwick-based firm Roulston Builders was awarded a contract worth $240,737 for the fit-out of new shed facilities for the Warwick Men’s Shed and the Warwick Woodcrafters at Theo Cantor Park in the Warwick Industrial Estate off McEvoy Street.
The two groups have long been based at the former council depot on Willi Street in Rosenthal Heights but are moving as the Southern Downs Regional Council intends to sell off the Willi Street site, which has prime residential real estate development potential, at an as-yet unspecified future time.
Meeting minutes also show councillors at their December meeting voted to award a separate contract for an unspecified amount to Roulston Builders “to complete the required building refurbishments at 4 Alice Street, Warwick for the purposes of the Warwick State Emergency Service”.
The building at 4 Alice Street is the Rodeo Heritage Centre, also currently home to the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) head office.
The Warwick SES is currently headquartered in premises behind the Warwick Town Hall and it has not yet been announced what will happen to those premises once vacated by the SES.
Local community radio station Rose City FM – also presently housed at the Willi Street site, in the former Rosenthal Shire offices – will also have to move and it is understood the station will also re-locate to the Rodeo Heritage Centre, although this is yet to be confirmed.
At the December meeting councillors also voted to award a contract worth $223,725 to Brisbane firm Adaptive Cycle Pty Ltd, to construct a ‘Learn To Ride’ bike pathway in Warwick’s Australiana Park off Wallace Street.
At their January 2020 meeting the following contracts were also awarded by a vote of councillors –
• Newlands Civil Construction – Asbestos remediation at the Warwick, Allora and Killarney Waste Facilities – $522,267.94 (not including GST)
• CPM Group – Upper Forest Springs Road Bridge Replacement Design and Construct – $513,000
• CLR & RA Mauch Concreting – Bourkes Road Bridge Replacement Design and Construct – $460,750
At a special council meeting held on Monday 3 February 2020 councillors voted to award a contract to Johanson Earthmoving and Construction Pty Ltd for $230,000 for de-silting of Storm King Dam at Stanthorpe.
With the next council election to be held on Saturday 28 March 2020 the council will officially move into ‘caretaker’ mode when the formal election notice is issued by the Queensland Government, due on Saturday 22 February.
The next council meeting is on Wednesday 19 February.
While in ‘caretaker’ mode the council cannot under Queensland local government legislation award any contracts worth more than $200,000 unless it can demonstrate there are “exceptional circumstances”.