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Relentless lobbying by Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox has paid off with Premier Anastacia Palazczuk last night announcing $5 million funding assistance to rebuild Council’s cyclone damaged Proserpine Administration building.
Mayor Willcox and CEO Barry Omundson had made countless trips to Brisbane strongly advocating for funding for a state of the art Administration Building and Service Centre to replace the Cyclone Debbie damaged building in Proserpine Main Street.
As a result Council administration staff has now spent over 12 months scattered across more than 12 different temporary office spaces throughout the region.
An elated Mayor Willcox said his Council had focused on forming a positive relationship with the State Government which has been a great supporter of our region.
“This is a great day for Proserpine and a sensational outcome, that local government and State Government work together to deliver more resilient infrastructure for our region.
“The reality is the insurance money alone would have only allowed Council to bring the aging Proserpine building back to its original state directly before TC Debbie.
“Frankly it is an old building and a bit of a rabbit warren with add-ons over the decades.
“It is important to remember that this building is not only Council’s key southern headquarters normally housing 120 staff but it is home to our Whitsunday Disaster Management Centre.
“It just made sense that if we are only repairing and not improving the building, that we should seek partnership funding from other sources to achieve a better outcome,” Mayor Willcox said.
During Tropical Cyclone Debbie the Local Disaster Co-ordination Centre operated from the boardroom in the damaged Proserpine Administration building.
“Following Tropical Cyclone Debbie, Council undertook a review of the management of the event and identified that damage sustained to the Council administration building, and hence the LDCC, created increased challenges during the disaster,” Mayor Willcox said.
“Provision of this state of the art critical infrastructure will also improve the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group’s ability to function and be self-sufficient, during a disaster event.“