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Whitsunday Regional Council has commissioned a full site investigation condition report of the Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC) after further non-compliance issues were discovered during recent repair work.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said he was frustrated by seemingly endless compliance and safety issues being discovered during the PEC reconstruction.
“The PEC suffered extensive damage during Cyclone Debbie but, due to lengthy insurance delays and previous design flaws, the lengthy timeframe for reopening the facility has been outside council’s control,” he said.
“I fully appreciate the extended closure of this facility has adversely impacted the arts and cultural landscape of Proserpine and its community.
“During reconstruction works a series of major issues initially came to light regarding air-conditioning and fire safety issues.
“These issues were historical design flaws and non-compliant renovations and repair work from the 1990’s discovered during the on-going repair works by the insurance panel builder.
“Basically these new issues were constantly being found as a result of panels or walls being removed during the cyclone repair works.
“The final straw was the discovery of missing roof beams at which point Council ordered a full observation report which identified further potential safety and compliance issues.
“As a result Council have now drawn a line in the sand and commissioned a full site investigation condition report by external consultants Ranbury.
“They will engage structural, mechanical, electrical and fire engineers to go over the PEC with a fine tooth comb so we have a clear picture of the total reconstruction works needed,” Mayor Willcox said.
“We will immediately review this new report when it is finished later this month and get on with the job of tackling all design, compliance and structural issues head-on.”
Division 3 Councillor and Deputy Mayor John Collins said the priority still remained ensuring the PEC is brought up to current industry standards and is repaired stronger and better.
“We are not finger pointing or blaming any previous administrations for the historical issues.
“We just want to find out the full extent of the issues to ensure we can restore the PEC to its former glory.
“It is such a valuable community hub for Proserpine and the region hosting live performances, school events, conferences and functions,” he said.
To date the unexpected extra costs Council already face on top of insurance repairs include air-conditioning and roofing upgrade ($200,000), audio and lighting upgrade ($315,000), fire safety improvements ($500,000) and driveway resurfacing ($50,000).