Mayor makes formal bid for old fire station

Published: Tuesday, 7 January 2020 at 3:38:04 PM

Shane Van Styn

Picture Caption: Mayor Shane Van Styn has offered the state government $1 for the old fire station on Durlacher Street.

In a bid to secure the old fire station building and land on Durlacher Street, City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn has offered the state government $1 for the site.

With the aim of redeveloping the space into a public carpark, a formal letter has been sent to Minister for Emergency Services Hon Francis Logan MLA requesting the state to relinquish the site to the City freehold for $1.

Mayor Van Styn said the City had been in negotiations with two state governments for five years in order to gain control of the site - with both governments saying they would offer it to the City.

“Our last correspondence from the state was last month from Minister Logan stating the City should make an offer,” he said.

“So here is our offer! Let's get this long overdue deal done and clean up this state owned eyesore in the middle of our CBD.

Mayor Van Styn also added that the state government don’t have plans for the site for at least the next 10 years and the building is already disused and falling into disrepair.

“The prospect of this site remaining derelict for 10 years, or more, is not well received by the Geraldton community and this is why we are appealing to the state for a collaborative approach in order to ensure this land is put to use,” he said.

“Vibrancy in our CBD has been a top priority for the City and we have seen amazing transformations such as Rocks Laneway and Beresford Foreshore.

“It is important that we continue to work hard where we can to acquire land and buildings before they become dilapidated and create negative space in our community.

At a Council Meeting in November 2019, Council made the decision to begin negotiations with the state government to secure the land on freehold purchase.

The City has been advised that preliminary PFAS testing (GHD) has occurred on the site and additional PFAS testing is required to ascertain the extent of the PFAS contamination. 

The City has also been advised that this follow up testing may not occur for up to ten years as the site has been classified as a low priority. 

As part of the formal offer, the state would contribute 50% of the project costs estimated at around $400,000 in total.

“We want to work proactively with the Minister and the state to ensure a positive outcome for both parties,” Mayor Van Styn added.

“Negotiations will continue and we hope a resolution will be made in the near future.”

 

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