EcoCentre under cloud over hazards

The Forest EcoCentre at Scottsdale, which has an uncertain future after water leaks were found to be creating  electrical hazards.

The Forest EcoCentre at Scottsdale, which has an uncertain future after water leaks were found to be creating electrical hazards.

ELECTRICAL danger has made the future of Scottsdale’s $1.8 million Forest EcoCentre uncertain.

Forestry Tasmania employees were forced to vacate the centre’s offices when a small electrical fire was detected on July 11.

An electrical inspector deemed the facility as unsafe when it was discovered the fire was caused by water leaking on to power cables.

The hazard presented ‘‘potential for serious injury’’, according to Forestry Tasmania Bass area forest manager Peter Bird.

‘‘Due to problems with water leaking into the structure of the building there was a potential for staff to receive electrical shocks,’’ Mr Bird said.

‘‘Forestry Tasmania has had no choice but to vacate the area temporarily while necessary works are undertaken.’’

He said the facility was owned by a trust and he was uncertain when repairs would be made, or how much they would cost.

Dorset Council general manager Tim Watson said an application to work on the external cladding of the centre was lodged with the council about 12 months ago, although signs of any change were not apparent.

‘‘(Repairs) could take quite some time, we’re not sure,’’ Mr Bird said.

‘‘The owner of the building has been advised of the action they’re required to undertake, and also to progress the necessary repairs as quickly as possible.’’

He said staff would relocate to another building at the Scottsdale complex, or to Forestry Tasmania’s Perth offices, if required.

The EcoCentre formerly housed a Tasmanian Visitor Information Network point, which was relocated to Scottsdale’s Alfred Street about 18 months ago.

The centre features a 30-metre stubbed cone, which is 14 metres tall and surrounds the internal offices.

The facility also houses a multimedia interpretation system, featuring interactive displays showcasing Tasmania’s North-East forests.

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