COUN­CIL WATCH All’s quiet on the south­ern front as Bound­ary Road works grind to a halt

Dubbo Photo News - - Opin­ion & anal­y­sis - By YVETTE AUBUS­SON-FOLEY SOURCE: AUS­TRALIAN SE­CU­RI­TIES AND IN­VEST­MENTS COM­MIS­SION (ASIC)

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

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