Coun­cil re­fuses to post­pone fore­shore work recom­mence­ment date

Southern Telegraph - - NEWS - Stu­art Hor­ton

A call from ratepay­ers and busi­ness own­ers to de­lay recom­mence­ment works at Rock­ing­ham fore­shore un­til late into 2019 has been re­jected by the City of Rock­ing­ham coun­cil as too costly.

A res­o­lu­tion put for­ward at last month’s an­nual elec­tors meet­ing called on the City to de­fer the recom­mence­ment of con­struc­tion works as late as pos­si­ble into the year, as well as to change park­ing re­stric­tions on Rail­way Ter­race from half an hour to two hours, and in­stall dis­abled park­ing bays on both sides of the street.

How­ever, the coun­cil re­jected the call to de­lay restart­ing works on stage one of the Fore­shore Re­de­vel­op­ment af­ter the con­trac­tor said any de­lay in the project recom­menc­ing be­yond Fe­bru­ary 18 could in­cur costs of up to $ 4000 a day, or be­tween $ 20,000 and $ 28,000 a week.

City of­fi­cers con­sid­ered push­ing back the recom­mence­ment date to March 31, which would cost be­tween $ 120,000 and $ 168,000, but this op­tion was also re­jected.

Of­fi­cers also said the City would be re­quired to ap­ply to the De­part­ment of In­fra­struc­ture, Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and Ci­ties for a time ex­ten­sion on the con­di­tions of grant fund­ing; the re­main­ing value of the grant is $ 1.65 mil­lion and of­fi­cers said there was a “very small chance” it would not be ap­proved, which would leave the City fi­nan­cially li­able to fund the grant short­fall or re­fund the full value of the grant back to the de­part­ment.

Aside from the as­so­ci­ated ex­tra costs, other fac­tors in­cluded re­quests from a num­ber of busi­ness own­ers for the project to be com­pleted as quickly as pos­si­ble, the al­ready tight time frames ne­go­ti­ated for the project com­ple­tion and the im­pacts a de­lay would have on or­gan­ised ac­tiv­i­ties at the fore­shore, such as the Cast­aways Sculp­ture Awards. De­spite vot­ing to re­ject the pro­posal, Cr Lee Down­ham said he was con­cerned coun­cil­lors were be­ing asked to vote on some­thing on which they did not have “full in­for­ma­tion” on, given the short turn­around from the De­cem­ber 19 elec­tor’s meet­ing and last Tues­day’s meet­ing.

Deputy Mayor Deb Ham­blin said she was con­cerned about chang­ing the time line for works, while Mayor Barry Sam­mels said he had per­son­ally met with some busi­ness own­ers to al­lay their con­cerns.

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