Maranoa Regional Council. Photo: Lachlan Berlin
Maranoa Regional Council. Photo: Lachlan Berlin

New uni facility coming to Roma, but council votes against branding

A recommendation from council staff to allow a first-of-its-kind university facility to temporarily paint and brand a council-owned building has been shut down by the majority of councillors.

The recommendation to allow Country Universities Centre (CUC) Maranoa to temporarily rebrand a council building was shut down by the majority of Unity Maranoa members in the last council meeting.

The Maranoa Regional Council is in the process of entering into a lease agreement with CUC Maranoa to tenant the Roma Community Hub.

Upon the agreement, CUC Maranoa requested to install signage at the hub and to repaint the building to their chosen brand colour, orange, with the condition it would be repainted to it’s original colour after the lease.

In support of CUC Maranoa painting the building, at their own cost was Cr Joh Hancock who said in the council meeting in Injune on February 10, that she believed it was a great idea so people can clearly see where the university is situated in town.

“I am supporting this, it’s a recommendation from our staff and I trust they have done the due-diligence and there’s no reasons not to support CUC promoting their businesses,” Cr Hancock said.

“It’s a great idea so people can visually see where it is and it will go back to the way it was, so I don’t see why not to support it.”

Despite the council agenda stating there will be no risk or cost to council, mayor Tyson Golder opposed the notion stating there hasn’t been a history of council granting changes to temporary leases.

“I don’t think they should be painting the building, I think the signage is appropriate for the situation we find ourselves in … I don’t believe we need to paint the building or section the building,” Cr Golder said.

In response, Cr Hancock questioned the mayor asking what difference is it to council that they paint the building if they will paint if back to its original state once the lease is finalised.

In support of Cr Hancock was Crs Wendy Taylor and John Birkett.

“I believe the approval of signage, highlighting the country university is sufficient and there hasn’t been a history of painting … branding for a temporary tender,” Cr Golder replied.

Cr Mark Edwards agreed and said it would set a precedent for future tenders.

“I also think it’s a little misleading because the building is owned by Maranoa Regional Council, a short term three year lease … and for a person who doesn’t follow council meetings, the perception now will be that they have taken over (the building) with the paint … council employees are working in the back of it, it’s giving a mixed message that there’s dual occupancy,” Cr Julie Guthrie added.

Cr Cameron O’Neil left the meeting, declaring a conflict of interest as he is the Chair of CUC Maranoa.

The motion did not pass with Crs Golder, Geoff McMullen, Guthrie, George Ladbrook and Edwards voting against it.

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