Auckland Hill kiosk city?s ?white elephant



GLADSTONE City Council's $260,000 kiosk on top of Auckland Hill is starting to become a white elephant for the city.

The rate payer funded facility was opened in January 2001, but its shutters have been closed more than they have been open,with the council struggling to find anyone interested in leasing it.

The only time the facility has been open was after Viv Pengelly from PFT Uni Caterers took up a lease more than a year and a half after it opened, however he then closed the doors in September last year and they have stayed that way ever since.

Mr Pengelly said he decided to close the doors because of a lack of support from the council.

'The council wouldn't support us in putting up cameras to stop the hoons taking signs and the like,' he said.

Mr Pengelly, who already operates a successful catering business in town, believed the facility could be a success if the tenant received the support they needed.

Mr Pengelly noted the location, including views of the Gladstone harbour, were an attractive draw card for the kiosk.

As well as the $260,000 it cost to build, the kiosk also requires budget allocations for regular maintenance, a cost again covered by local rate payers.

Gladstone City Council administrative services director Greg Winter said the council had been trying to find someone to lease the facility ever since it's closure last September.

Mr Winter said while there had been a number of inquiries, no one had followed through with the leasing process.

'We've handed out expressions of interest to a number of people and asked them to answer some questions about terms of lease, but we haven't had any come back with anything yet,' Mr Winter said.

Mr Winter said the council did not know why it had so much difficulty finding a tender.

Mr Winter said the council had discussed other options for the kiosk, but could not give any details.



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