COUNCIL WATCH All’s quiet on the southern front as Boundary Road works grind to a halt
THE Dubbo Regional Council’s Boundary Road Extension project was sideswiped last Thursday when news broke that the company hired to do the capital works, Shearer Contracting, had announced voluntary administration. Activity at the construction site has stopped.
“They had recently completed a similar project for Mid-western Regional Council and we spoke to them at length about Shearer and did our due diligence before awarding them the tender,” DRC Infrastructure and Operations director Chris Devitt told
“Everything looked good then, but (Shearer Contracting) is working on 10 different projects and we don’t know what’s triggered this situation, we’re not privy to that information.”
The project has now been suspended indefinitely and the timeframe for completion is being reviewed, with the aim of recommencing works as soon as possible.
“We’re looking to get the job started as quickly as possible and quite confident the work will get done this calendar year. It’s impossible to say what the new schedule will look like until the administrator works out what they’re going to do with Shearer,” Chris said.
Appointed administrators, Rapsey Griffiths Insolvency and Advisory, has commenced a campaign for the sale of business as a going concern or an asset sale.
“The Administration period runs for 25 business days. The Administrators have commenced an urgent assessment of the Company’s financial position and performance and its work in progress,” Rapsey Griffiths Insolvency and Advisory partner Mitch Griffiths told
“We expect to be in a position to determine how the company will move forward in the coming weeks.”
Given the early stages of the Administration, however, it isn’t clear if a return to unsecured creditors will be available.
“It appears there will be sufficient assets to cover employee entitlements,” Mr Griffiths said.
The first meeting of creditors will be held on April 16, 2018, in Singleton.
A creditors’ meeting will also be held in Dubbo. Rapsey Griffiths told Dubbo Photo News on Tuesday that a creditors meeting has been convened for 11am on Monday, April 16, 2018. “We have booked meeting facilities at Cascades Motor Inn, Dubbo, to enable creditors to utilise such services in lieu of travelling to the Singleton venue to participate in the meeting,” a spokesperson said.
Creditors with any queries should contact Rapsey Griffiths directly.
Maas Group Family Properties general manager Steve Guy said the Maas company’s office had been receiving calls from residents in the Southlakes Estate.
Lakeview Estates, a luxury gated community in Southlakes, is located on the corner of the Boundary Road extension and Alexandrina Avenue, where a roundabout is also under construction.
The Stage 1 extension will give residents access to Wheelers Lane and, after Stage 2 is completed, a planned neighbourhood shopping centre one block away and access to Sheraton Road.
“I’m sure Council is working very hard and it would be good to know a speedy approach is continued and also to appoint a new contractor as soon as possible,” he said.
“The parkland bordering the road works is still accessible but is always heavily used and was used by kids and families. Also, there is a bus setdown and pick-up point which has had to be moved due to the construction. They’ve been displaced
What is voluntary administration?
Voluntary Administration is designed to resolve a company’s future quickly, to consider its financial position and administer the affairs of the company in a way that results in a better return to creditors.
If you find your business is in financial difficulty, it is important to seek advice from your financial advisor, or alternatively a qualified insolvency specialist. and safety is an issue,” Mr Guy said.
While waiting for the administrators’ next move, Council will be monitoring the site and the necessary road safety management controls remain in place.
“We apologise for the inconvenience and Council staff will be continuously monitoring the area to ensure safety. Motorists are asked to continue to exercise caution around the construction site,” Chris Devitt said.
Council is working through options for works to re-start as quickly as possible.
“We are looking at three options at the moment. The administrator could decide the company is able to continue the project. If not, we may have to retender the work and it was competitively tendered, and thirdly, we have the option of reprioritising some of Council’s work and completing the task ourselves.”
At the first closing date for tenders in March 2017, none had been received.
By October 16, 2017, Council awarded Shearer the tender valued at $2.754 million.
“The majority of the money is
of the wind turbines.
The group was fortunate to witness a project in the making that will make history as the first of its kind in the Wellington area, paving the way for other renewable energy farms.
Dubbo Regional Council is also working with wind farm owner Infigen Energy to distribute a Community Benefit Fund, which will go towards helping the local community through financial support for the life of the wind farm. still with Council. It’s not been a significant amount of money paid out as yet. The procedure is that Shearer submits monthly claims for work done and Council pays based on that. It’s still very early into construction,” Mr Devitt said.
“We’re busily working to look at the options but as the administrator has taken over the management of Shearer’s, it remains to be seen what that company will be able to do.
“The money still exists and residents can be assured, we’ll get it done.”
Shearer Contracting is a Singleton-based, family-owned company, developed from an earthmoving firm founded in the 1940s.
The administrators are working closely with Dubbo Regional Council to determine the next steps in the Boundary Road Extension project.
The Boundary Road Extension project is 1.61km of new arterial road servicing South East Dubbo, built in two stages, producing a fully-kerbed two-lane road with integrated cycle lanes and piped stormwater drainage from Wheelers Lane to Sheraton Road, with roundabouts.
existing single main.
“Renewal of Council’s water main infrastructure is an ongoing activity to ensure the network remains reliable and effective for a growing population,” Mr Carter said.
“This replacement project will mean separate mains are used to service businesses and residents on either side of Whylandra Street which are currently serviced by one water main,” he said.
This project also includes the lowering of a sewer gravity main crossing the highway just north of Minore Road.
Mr Carter said as the work is mainly in the footpath area on both sides there will be minimal traffic disruption, however, a traffic control management plan will be in place for the duration of the project.
The project is being funded by RMS and is being completed ahead of major road reconstruction being programmed by RMS. The view from the Alexandrina Avenue and Boundary Road extension roundabout, looking west where roadworks have fallen silent after earthworks company Shearer Contracting entered voluntary administration last week. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS