Queanbeyan Police will receive a new station at its current location but it will come at the cost of the council’s plans for a new headquarters.
NSW Police confirmed they withdrew from any agreements with the council to co-locate in the proposed building.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced on Tuesday that concept plans for the new station were under way and he hoped a sod turning would happen in September.
However while the police station progresses it appears the council’s plans to construct a new multi-story headquarters have been delayed, also costing the council financially.
A spokesman for the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council said the council had spent roughly $700,000 to date on the plans for their new building.
A portion of this cost was additional design and legal elements to accommodate the NSW Police. The spokesman said the council has sought reimbursement for some of these costs.
A spokeswoman for NSW Police confirmed the police were discussing early contract termination options with the council.
“Both parties have acted in good faith under pre contract arrangements and continue to engage in a consultative relationship,” she said.
The council spokesman said consultants from Cox Architecture worked closely with NSW Police representatives in preparing concept designs that appropriately accommodated the police force.
The police then endorsed those design elements and a lease was prepared and issued to the police for final agreement in early August, the spokesman said.
However the council were forced to look at different options when the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller declared in September the Queanbeyan Police would not move from their current location.
Mr Barilaro was adamant neither he nor his office played any role in proposing or recommending the co-location agreement, which has cost the council and NSW Police financially and seemingly delayed both projects.
“Council pitched the idea of relocating the police station, they’re building their new building and an anchor tenant like any public service department, including NSW Police, could have been an option,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Maybe people jumped the gun in relation to what was going to be the final decision.”
He said once geotechnical issues were resolved the decision was made to keep the police at their preferred location.
Mr Barilaro confirmed the council had asked him to consider if another government department could be relocated to be housed within the council building.
The council spokesman said the council was not yet in a position to provide a timeline on the new options considered for the council building.