The Telstra Corporation has been issued with an Order to Repair Building on Dubbo’s iconic clock tower building after repeated attempts to get the organisation to undertake repair and maintenance works.
Dubbo Regional Council issued the order, under Section 9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, for the premises at 98 Macquarie Street on Tuesday, November 6.
Telstra has 90 days from that date to complete works or face potential further actions including legal proceedings.
Telstra has been contacted for comment.
Mayor Ben Shields said the council had tried to work with Telstra but said the telecommunications organisation had not taken any steps towards starting work.
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“Telstra is one of Australia’s largest companies and they have an obligation to the people of Dubbo to keep this landmark to an acceptable standard. They haven’t done this, even after I wrote to Telstra CEO Andy Penn at the start of the year,” Councillor Shields said.
“They have left us with no alternative but to take this action. The clock tower is such an iconic part of the Dubbo streetscape and is heritage-listed, but the reality is that the building continues to fall further into disrepair and the onus is on Telstra to get it back to a satisfactory condition.”
The order requires the building’s owners to:
- Unblock gutters and undertake reasonable measures to ensure they do not become blocked in the future;
- Appropriately clean the exterior to remove all vermin and wildlife faecal matter;
- Repair water damage to the building including fixing leaks and existing water damaged walls, roof and floors;
- Undertake maintenance to the exterior including removing peeling paint;
- Undertake exterior painting maintenance to ensure it is protected from the weather;
- Secure the premises to prohibit wildlife being able to enter.
Once works have been carried out, council has also asked to be provided with a maintenance schedule to ensure it does not continue to degrade.
Councillor Shields said the community was very protective of its significant buildings and there was a lot of concern about the state of clock tower.
“That building should be the jewel in the crown of the CBD but it has become so run down, it is actually an embarrassment,” he said.
“Council won’t be satisfied until Telstra has met all the conditions of the order.”