MOVING: The Agnes Water branch of Uniting Care is expected to move into the old community centre next month.
MOVING: The Agnes Water branch of Uniting Care is expected to move into the old community centre next month.

Service moves to central office after cheap council deal

THE Agnes Water branch of Uniting Care is on the move.

The community services provider will move closer to town after being granted a licence by Gladstone Regional Council to use part of the Old Agnes Water Community Centre at Springs Rd.

Uniting Care operates from an office at 2 Rafting Ground Rd, but has deemed that unsuitable as they want to establish a centrally located Neighbourhood Centre.

The centre was previously occupied by Goora Gan Steiner School, who moved to a vacant room at Agnes Water Surf Club earlier this year.

Uniting Care would have an office at the centre and have a shared arrangement to use other sections of the building.

The organisation will enter into a "peppercorn" lease arrangement of $30 per week to cover cleaning and electricity costs on an initial 12-month lease.

The item was discussed at last week's council meeting with councillor Kahn Goodluck questioning the low rental figure. Goora Gan Steiner School paid $10,000 per annum to use the upper area of the centre, while the recommended weekly figure for Uniting Care would only bring in $1560 per year.

Despite Uniting Care renting an office space only, Cr Goodluck asked whether ratepayers were footing a rental income shortfall of about $8500.

"How come we can't have a similar arrangement with Uniting Care ... it's basically being subsidised by ratepayers," Cr Goodluck said.

"If the school was able to cover those costs, how come Uniting Care can't?"

UnitingCare Queensland general manager Edwina Andrew said moving to the Old Community Centre would enable the organisation to serve more people closer to home.

"As a community services provider we want to ensure as many people as possible are able to connect with and access our services," Ms Andrew said.

"We want to use this space to create a community hub, offering youth services and face-to-face community programs to help people access the support they need.

"These will supplement the broader child and family services UnitingCare Queensland offers throughout the region, as well as the aged care and suicide prevention services we offer through Blue Care and Lifeline respectively.

"We want to thank council for their support and look forward to continue working with them to support the Discovery Coast community."