A Harvey shire councillor has slammed the “unfit” conditions in which shire staff are being required to work — labelling them “unhealthy, overcrowded and dangerous”. Cr Bill Adams last week raised a motion in the briefing session which called on the chief executive officer Annie Riordan to take action against claims of a “dangerous” workplace. There are claims that the office buildings on Uduc Road are full of mould and bacteria, have ventilation issues, water egress in the ceilings — which could potentially cause them to collapse — and poor hygiene standards contributed to by old, dirty carpets. Those claims were supported by an architectural assessment and occupational health and safety report which recommended “no easy fixes” to the current situation. The report also stated the convoluted pathways within the office could cause fire hazards and the artificial lighting could reduce employees’ mental health. Cr Adams said the offices were “entirely unfit for purpose” and the council chamber, where council meetings are held, should be repurposed to create temporary offices for shire staff. New shire offices are expected, but not for several years. They are part of a master plan for the heart of Harvey that would revitalise the town centre. The new buildings could take more than 21/2 years to be built and any action in the meantime would just be an interim measure until the new space is ready to be used. Cr Adams’ motion comes several months after he questioned the shire’s spending during a council meeting and said that the shire officers were only pushing for the new community hub so that they could get a new office building. During his protest in October, he also condemned the notion of having dual shire buildings in Harvey and Australind. In response to Cr Adams’ motion, shire officers recommended spending $20,000 of ratepayers’ money to engage an external consultant to undertake an immediate assessment of the building. However, Cr Adams questioned why ratepayers should have to pay for information they already knew. “We have a report, it says no easy fixes, poor hygiene and mould on the carpet,” Cr Adams said. “What will we get for 20 grand that we don’t already know?” He said they were facing a write-off of staff if nothing was done. Cr Derrick Simpson, who is a former district manager of the local Health Service, questioned why in-house staff could not carry out inspections, cleaning and maintenance. He said there had never previously been any indication of issues with the building. “I’m not disputing (that there are potential hazards) but it just causes me some concern that we find ourselves here when there has not been a lot of information on the issues,” Cr Simpson said. “We’ve had new air-cons, now we’re told that the ventilation is not OK.” He also asked if the current or previous shire presidents had ever been made aware of the problems affecting staff. Councillors will vote on Cr Adams’ motion at tonight’s council meeting.