Wagga City Council will write to the NSW government demanding an explanation to the "unfair" $610,000 price tag placed on a historic ambulance station earlier this year.
Councillor Dan Hayes said there had been a concerted effort to have the Johnston Street station gifted back to Wagga for a token fee which was rejected by NSW government officials - who claimed it was against policy.
He slammed the recent decision to gift the Armidale council their courthouse, which he said negates everything the Wagga council was told in their negotiations for the ambulance station.
"On the face of it - it looks dodgy, it looks unfair and it stinks," Cr Hayes said.
Councillors voted unanimously on Tuesday night to demand answers from relevant NSW Ministers as to why Wagga was treated differently than Armidale.
In response to questions from The Daily Advertiser, a NSW Health spokesperson said the $610,000 price tag placed on the building was due to policy, but did not explain why this was seemingly ignored in the Armidale deal.
"In line with government policy, a reduced value for the old site was offered to council, factoring a restriction of use for only community purposes," the spokesperson said.
Wagga councillors have demanded a better, more in-depth explanation.
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Cr Hayes said if the response provided by the state government does not adequately explain the difference in treatment, the council should seek a refund for the $610,000 purchase.
"Frankly if the response we get from them doesn't clear this up then I think an apology followed by a refund is needed," he said.
An old school in Bombala, Crown buildings in Moree and Tamworth, and an ambulance station in Bathurst have also been gifted to local councils by the state government in the past few years.
Cr Rod Kendall said the council was left with a "feeling of despair" when the price tag was handed down in March, which was exacerbated when other local governments were gifted similar buildings.
The ambulance station was built by members of the Wagga community in the 1920s and then given as a gift to the NSW government.
Councillors were in agreement that this history made the decision to charge the council for the building even more deserving of criticism.
Wagga mayor Dallas Tout said he was particularly disappointed because the council had negotiated "in good faith" with the state government.
"It was frustrating because it was all done in good faith and now that turns out not to be the case - an answer to our question will be most interesting," he said.
The ambulance station was originally offered to Wagga City Council for about $800,000 but this price was reduced to $610,000 when the significant need for repairs was pointed out.
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