Council ditches clutter

Willi St depot shed before the clean-up.
Willi St depot shed before the clean-up. Contributed

MICE, pigeons and even a snake have had to find new homes after they were evicted from the piles of council documents left to rot for years in various storage spaces throughout the Downs.

A report about the poor condition of many council documents and the need for a new storage space was presented at a March meeting and a council spokeswoman said the "sorting out process" had started with good progress to date.

"A temporary officer has been employed to assist the current records management team work through some of the issues identified," she said.

Acting corporate services director Graham Cray said they were in the process of sifting through the documents - some badly damaged by pigeon and mouse faeces.

"Due to these extra resources we have been able to achieve some quick wins in regards to sorting through some of the records to identify if they can be destroyed or kept and processed," he said.

Back in March, the Willi St depot shed was in the worst condition with the Willi St depot office also in a bad state. Boxes were also precariously balanced on the floor underneath the Town Hall but the council spokeswoman said that was no longer the case.

"Areas identified as unsuitable for the storage of records have also been cleared out," she said.

"Currently all Warwick records are housed in one area.

"However more work is still required."

The 2012/2013 budget has allocated $270, 000 to build a new record storage facility to store important documents but no timeline has been given on how long that would take.

"A suitable site for this facility has yet to be determined," the spokeswoman said. "Once a site has been chosen, a design for the new facility will be drawn up and submitted to council for approval and the construction process will then commence."

The spokeswoman said more than 100 wheelie bins of unrequired documents had been destroyed to date.

"Documentation is assessed against the Queensland State Archives General Administration Retention and Destruction Schedule and the Local Government Retention and Destruction Schedule," she said.

"These schedules advise us how long we are required to keep documentation.

"If we have met the criteria in the schedule, then we complete a report on what is destroyed and then the originals are shredded.

"There was a wide variety of information kept in the Willi St depot shed, however due to the age of the documentation, 90% of the documentation had well and truly met its required retention periods and was destroyed.

"The majority of the information was from Glengallan and Rosenthal Shire Councils prior to the first amalgamation (in 1994)."

Despite much of the documentation - in various stages of decay - being on the throw-out list, the report given to the council in March did list some of it as important.

"Previously a home for pigeons until basic proofing was installed approximately six years ago. Records are in very poor condition," the report stated.

"Some have been identified as rates records which must be kept forever. Records have been partially eaten and a lot of vermin faeces is on them."

Topics:  council, warwick



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