It's official: Suttons Beach Pavilion to be rebuilt

Published 3:29pm 1 March 2023

It's official: Suttons Beach Pavilion to be rebuilt
Words by Jodie Powell

The 600-page structural integrity report into the condition of Suttons Beach Pavilion has been released to the public today, officially confirming the beloved structure would cost tens of millions of dollars to repair, with no guarantee of success.

Suttons Beach Pavilions Preservation Group (SBPPG) received the report last week ahead of today’s Council meeting, to allow members time to process its contents.

Speaking at this morning’s community council meeting at the Redcliffe Leagues Club, Councillor Karl Winchester (Div 6) welcomed the invasive testing report.

“Even though it comes at a significant cost, I felt it was vital that we further tested the building to ascertain the degree of damage at the site and the chance to remediate and restore the building be further explored,” he said.

“The historical and cultural significance of the original building deserved no less.”

Cr Winchester said potential remedial works would involve demolishing much of the existing and original remains of the building and would be very costly.

“In short, the in-depth work has identified the extent of issues affecting the building and the prognosis is grim.

No guarantee

It's official: Suttons Beach Pavilion to be rebuilt
Suttons Beach Pavilion historical imagery. Credit: Moreton Bay Regional Council Libraries

|“Critically, efforts to save the building may not work, and it is highly likely to uncover more complex structural issues, which would not only add to the cost but may ultimately prove insurmountable.|

“If successful, and that's a big if, the work would not guarantee a reasonably extended lifespan and require expensive ongoing maintenance.”

Cr Winchester said several factors had contributed to the building’s demise, including construction practices from 1937, with the pavilion built against an embankment causing damage from seepage.

As well, he said the former Redcliffe City Council failed to identify and address issues following the departure of the museum in the late ’90s or during the subsequent redevelopment of the site in 2000-2002.

|“We also now know that the redevelopment itself introduced more issues which compounded pre-existing problems at the site.|

“Our current Council cannot go back 20 years and fix this, however, we have finally brought the issue to a head and sought to address the issues on the site.

Cr Winchester said the report made it clear restoration was not a viable option and it was time to consider rebuilding, with options to be presented at the next council meeting.

Serving the community

“I believe we can ensure a new pavilion will serve our community into the future, one which carries on the legacy of the previous uses at the site,” he said.

“I will also advocate for retaining some historical aspects of the original building, as a link between our history and the future.”

He thanked Suttons Beach Pavilions Preservation Group (SBPPG) president Jodie Starr, the committee and members of the group.

Ms Starr said when the pavilion was rebuilt it was essential future generations understood the important role the building played in the development of the cultural, recreational and hospitality dimensions of the Peninsula.

“The community should expect an appropriate historical feature with interpretive material that covers off the Pavilion's rich history and incorporates elements of the current building in its design,” she said.

Accurate assessment

Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group member Bruce Carter was given an advance copy of the 600-page Covey report last week and said he believed it was a complete and accurate assessment of the pavilion’s condition.

“It outlines all the testing process and results of a thorough building condition investigation, as well as providing detailed options for how issues found can be rectified to become code compliant.

“Although almost anything can be fixed with enough money, it is up to Council to consider whether this would be the best use of public funds, given the risk of several still unknown factors.”

Mayor Peter Flannery said the report showed the pavilion was very dilapidated and would require a huge investment to restore, with no guarantee a renovation would give the building longevity.

He said Council planned to work in partnership with the community to determine the design of a new building on the site that paid homage to the pavilion’s history.

“We’re going to put that to the community at the next Council meeting – we’re going to put two options to the community.”

Read the report here: Suttons Beach Public Space project | Your Say Moreton Bay


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