The Central Goldfields Shire Council has endorsed a new property occupancy policy to promote “responsible, consistent and effective” management of the more than 100 council owned buildings which are occupied by community and user groups across the shire.
At this week’s ordinary council meeting, administrators moved a motion to endorse the draft property occupancy policy, undertake a community consultation process on the draft policy and invite public submissions on the policy.
The report tabled to council states the property occupancy policy is to provide a framework for determining the most appropriate agreements for use of council owned and managed land and/ or buildings within the shire, to ensure that all occupants are treated in a transparent and consistent manner.
According to the report tabled to council, there are many properties within the shire where community /user groups have occupied, managed and maintained buildings for prolonged periods without any formal written agreement with council.
“This has resulted in present day issues relating to asset ownership, confusion and a lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities with regard to property matters such as maintenance, annual inspections and insurance,” the officer’s report stated.
In moving the motion, administrator Hugh Delahunty said the policy promotes responsible, consistent and effective management of the shire’s community assets.
“This draft will be put out for public consultation and all occupiers of council buildings will be notified in writing and will be invited to provide comment or feedback. Our community voices panel will also be asked for their comments,” he said.
“We have about 100 properties across the shire that have lease agreements of some form or another. Some are current, some are expired and some are pending, some are seasonal.
For more on this story see Page 4 of The Advertiser, Friday, May 31