Funding gap leaves hub freewheeling
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.