Gunnedah Shire Council has endorsed a draw down of $221,000 from the building works internally restricted asset to fund the replacement of the GoCo administration building roof.

After internal renovations were completed in March to 80 Marquis Street, Gunnedah, rain revealed major internal leaks to multiple areas of the original external roof.

There had been no previous reports or identification of the leaks until after the removal of an internal roof cavity.

Internal damage has included renovated areas including ducted air vents, door frames and internal roof linings.

The director infrastructure services report states there would be no guarantee of eliminating all water leaks which could be significant and ongoing if the roof is not replaced.

An informal quotation revealed it would cost $221,000 for the removal and replacement of the roof and all associated flashing, removal and replacement of gable end walls lined in tiles, disposal fees along with safety and site management, among other associated costs.

It was recommended to replace the roof in its entirety to eliminate the risk of continual damage and the subsequent cost along with the impact on operations.

The report also stated repairing the roof would extend the life of the overall building.

Cr Colleen Fuller moved the motion, stating, “it has got to be done. Let us do it and get it over with and fixed up properly.”

At the time of the council meeting last week, director infrastructure services Jeremy Bartlett said detailed investigations had not been undertaken but he believed there would be little success of a claim after Cr Robert Hoddle questioned insurance options.

Cr Ann Luke thought it was “disappointing” the builders working on the building had not become aware of the dysfunctionality of the roof and now some of those renovations are damaged after receiving rain.

Cr Juliana McArthur requested insurance inquiries be made first.

She echoed the concerns of Cr Hoddle and Cr Luke and questioned whether there were any recourse options in regards to the building contractor.

“It does seem a little unusual to have renovations done to the building then suddenly find that this is an issue … and appreciating too that it may be urgent works, but have those inquiries made first or the draw down of that money be provisional upon those investigations,” she said.

Mr Bartlett stated there would not be any recourse on the builder under its contract as they were only engaged for a specific scope which did not include the roof.

“It is a pre-existing issue that is well outside of what council would be able to claim against that builder under that contract,” he said.

“My understanding as well in relation to the insurance matter is that the roof in its entirety would be fully depreciated on council’s books.

“That would mean the only claimable value that council could attempt to claim from the insurer would be the depreciated value of that roof. Which would be very, very low or zero.”

The discussion was resolved by Eric Groth, stating that council staff would notify the insurer, follow up on all issues and if possible recover against money allocated through its insurance policy.

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