Fund­ing gap leaves hub free­wheel­ing

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

Plans for the long-awaited Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub are edg­ing to­wards their next phase, but fur­ther progress may have to wait amid de­lays caused by sub-lease ne­go­ti­a­tions and a short­fall in fund­ing of more than $4 mil­lion.

The City of Kar­ratha voted for CWD Builders’ ten­der to con­struct the hub at a meet­ing in May, and Wa­ter Fea­tures by De­sign to build its ad­join­ing wa­ter play­ground.

But ex­e­cu­tion of the hub con­struc­tion con­tract has had to be post­poned, with the ap­pli­ca­tion for $4.5 mil­lion from the Com­mon­wealth Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund yet to be de­cided.

It leaves the City with a $4.11 mil­lion short­fall for the project and con­struc­tion on hold await­ing the fund­ing out­come, with the coun­cil con­sid­er­ing step­ping in to cover the gap if needed. The City is also still wait­ing for Rio Tinto to grant a sub-lease over the site, which is sub­ject to a min­ing lease.

A man­age­ment plan out­lin­ing a com­bi­na­tion of City-run and ex­ter­nal ser­vices in the hub, in the same vein as the Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub and Kar­ratha Leisure­plex, was also ap­proved by coun­cil.

Ten­ders for ten­ancy of the early learn­ing cen­tre and some not-for­profit of­fice spa­ces are to be called for soon. The City of Kar­ratha failed to re­spond by time of print.

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