Cashing in on the spare room

ONE floor of Council House in Perth is to be rented out under a money-saving measure from chair commissioner Andrew Hammond.

Staff and councillors are currently spread across levels 9, 10 and 11 of the modernist building, but Cmmr Hammond has noticed the halls are looking a little roomier under new CEO Murray Jorgensen’s program of reining in staff numbers, which had ballooned out past 700 under the old regime.

In 2018 commissioners shut down the level 10 dining room which cost about $500,000 to run each year, leaving that opulent and imperial chamber defunct along with the bar and commercial kitchen.

Level 10 also has nine empty regular offices and one large empty one, and he notes that the level 11 lord mayoral office is “very large,” and councillors also have work space up there. The floor had originally been for equipment to run the building, but was converted into the lord mayor’s “space and meeting room” during major renovations completed in 1999.

Cmmr Hammond reckons “consolidated accommodation” could free up a whole floor to rent out.

The review of surplus space is planned to be complete in time for the 2020/2021 budget so the council can put money aside for works needed to get the spare room ready for rent.

by DAVID BELL

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