Stroud residents have expressed concerns about the construction quality of the new multi-purpose building at Stroud Showground after reports the newly-erected frame had collapsed.
On Monday, December 23, photos of a newly-constructed steel frame for the MidCoast Council project were posted on the Visit Stroud Valley Facebook, after Stroud resident and MidCoast councillor, Karen Hutchinson had posted on her personal page that the project was finally underway.
Cr Hutchinson posted how pleased she was that all the workers onsite were from Stroud.
"The frame will be completed today (December 23) then the boys will have a well earned rest and return to the building site in the new year," she posted.
It has been reported that at some point between the construction of the frame and Christmas Day, the structure collapsed, sparking a stream of comments on the private Stroud Locals group page.
On December 26, Cr Hutchinson posted her disappointment about some of the negative comments being made about the project.
"I have refrained from responding to the posts about the collapse of the frame at the showground as I do not know all the facts as yet. I now ask that those of you making negative comments to stop for a minute, think about what you are saying, and reflect on whether your comments are helpful or necessary," she posted.
"As a community, let's do better."
Among the community concerns were questions about the standard of construction and qualifications of the builder.
According to the Department of Fair Trading, a contractor (or builders) licence is only required for residential work over a value of $5000, and is not required for commercial work.
When asked about the community's concerns, MidCoast Council explained how the contractor, Outkat Pty Ltd, was the same one used to undertake other builds already completed on the site.
"Outkat Pty Ltd have successfully completed construction on a number of structures at the Stroud Showground including the poultry pavilion, tennis courts and tennis amenities. In all cases they have complied with the Building Code of Australia and council requirements," council's manager of Community Spaces, Recreation and Trades, Dan Aldridge said.
"MidCoast Council is aware there is an issue with the bracing for the newly-erected frame on the multi-purpose building at the Stroud Showground. This will be rectified by the contractor at no cost to the community."
The multi-purpose building is part of a number of repairs completed at Stroud Showground through funding provided by the Australian and NSW Governments' Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements after the 2015 flood event.