Headframe on shaky ground
Friday, 27th February, 2015
By Erica Visser
As locals hope for the survival of the Number 4 south headframe the mayor has warned that “most engineers wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole, not even to pull it down.”
At a meeting this week Duff Street resident Larry Angell asked what City Council was doing to secure extensive funding needed to save the structure.
The city is in a frustrating wait over the future of the poppet head that began late last year when CBH Resources recognised its rapid deterioration.
“I am extremely concerned that it will collapse before anything else has happened,” Mr Angell said.
“We need to make sure under all circumstances that it is saved.”
Mr Angell was just one person to suggest the possible use of shipping containers as support structures or protective barriers.
“I really want to know what Council are doing to try and make sure the frame is saved and not demolished, and doesn’t collapse.”
Councillor Bob Algate said that while the iconic structure lay on CBH’s lease, Council had a responsbility to save it.
“As the national heritage city, the Council has a real responsibility to make sure no stone is left unturned.”
Mayor Wincen Cuy urged the public to “bear with us” as a solution was found in what he had previously described as a tedious process.
“I’ve held three meetings now with CBH, also with (environmental lawyer) Simon Molesworth and also with a party who believes it has a possible solution.
“I now have spoken to the federal member and the state member around heritage funding.
“We need to look at how that would be obtained and the estimate for the repair is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars - not just the tens (of thousands.)
“There has been potential work undertaken but based on the other consultants that have come, most engineers wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole, not even to pull it down.
“That is a concern. Bear with us and let’s hope in the meantime that nothing drastic happens to it.”