EXTERNAL works on the ageing Mount Gambier railway building are expected to be complete by the end of June, however Mount Gambier City Council has postponed the internal refurbishment.
The heritage-listed site was a hot topic at Tuesday night’s special council meeting when elected members endorsed a recommendation to accelerate works on a number of public buildings and structures across the city.
Nearly $1.25m worth of maintenance and improvement works on public buildings and spaces was fast-tracked.
This initially included $650,000 for internal works and toilet refurbishment at the railway building, however it was removed from the report following an amendment by Cr Steve Perryman.
“I cannot remember exactly how I personally landed when the external refurbishment or repair works came before council a little while ago – whether I reluctantly agreed or opposed,” he said.
“There is some sympathy for wanting to weather-proof the structure and making sure it does not deteriorate, but beyond that I question the merit of spending a lot of money on that building because there is no use.”
Cr Perryman instead suggested council should explore an option to put the property up for sale and let the market determine the value and use of the space.
Elected members supported the amendment to not bring the railway building projects forward and instead review other potential projects to the value of $650,000.
“I have a different view to Steve on the ultimate sale of it, but I am happy to second the amendment and defer some of the internal works until we agree on a designated future use,” Cr Max Bruins said.
Cr Ben Hood suggested council consider the toilet refurbishment in the near future due to the number of events held at the central location.
“More facilities on the rail lands would be a good thing, but I’m happy to support the amendment knowing that we may when we look at these additional projects the railway station toilet refurbishment may find its way back in after discussion,” he said.
Council infrastructure general manager Nick Serle said the external works on the building were expected to be completed by the end of the current financial year.
“We have gone out to tender and selected a builder to do that work … it is imminent,” Mr Serle said.