All was on track to complete the refurbishment of Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) Prince Street, Grafton, offices “on time and within budget”, when a progress report was tabled at the August 24 CVC meeting; however, Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s announcement on Saturday August 14, that all of NSW was a hotspot, put an end to that.
Queensland immediately closed its border, in line with its policy to exclude people who reside in ‘hotspots’ from crossing into the state, and, as a result, the $8,054,629 project has been delayed for five weeks, CVC’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay, said.
“The principal contractor is based in Queensland,” he said, “[as are] a number of trades … and they have been unable to travel across the border to complete the project.”
In the meantime, notwithstanding the re-establishment of the ‘border bubble’, the project manager (who lives locally) is “trying to engage local contractors to finalise the project”, Mr Lindsay said.
However, he said this was proving difficult because “local companies are so busy”.
Mr Lindsay said that, while the regional lockdown has been lifted, the official government advice is that “if staff can work from home, they should still work from home”.
This, he said, would alleviate problems regarding the lease expiring for 42 Victoria Street, where staff were located during the Prince Street refurbishment.
As far as over the counter contact is concerned, CVC has set up a temporary office at the Rushforth Road works depot while the Prince Street works are completed.
“However, we ask that customers take advantage of our online and phone services where possible before making a visit due to space limitations,” a CVC media release stated.
The council’s customer service team at Maclean was re-established on Monday September 13; and the following council facilities and services have resumed their normal operating hours (with capacity limits): Landfill services, libraries, Grafton Regional Gallery, swimming pools, playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, holiday parks, Treelands Drive Community Centre, and pound services.