A building for a new era
When Councils amalgamate, initially staff often need to be housed in a number of different locations. This is costly, time wasting and undermines a sense of corporate or organisational togetherness. As a larger corporate entity, the first Council at the new City of Cairns identified an urgent need for a new Administration Centre and Council Chambers.
In spite of five separate locations, the old Council Chambers was cramped and offered limited parking. To bring staff together, Council purchased a greenfields site close to the new Cairns Central Shopping Complex on the edge of the CBD.
The six hectare site provides ample parking and opportunities to extend the building should this be required in the future.
"Purpose built to meet the needs of a large, modern, professional Local Government authority, we expect this new building to meet Council and community needs for at least 100 years," said Terry Moore, Chief Executive Officer.
The design is very much geared to being user friendly and streamlining customer service. Reception is a 'one stop shop' where specially trained staff are multiskilled to resolve at this first point of contact up to 90% of inquiries made in person or by telephone.
The new building has also enabled the establishment of a call centre to provide optimum customer service. The interior court yard is a pleasant area for staff and the public. A large civic reception room on the ground floor can accommodate up to 500 people.
The $25 million building opened for business on Monday 7 September, with the official opening by Premier Peter Beattie taking place on 2 October.