Council discuss Robe medical centre building delay

Robe District Council has explained why there has been a delay in building the town’s new medical centre.

Council has allocated funding to extending and upgrading the building, with the work originally expected to start this month, but councillors were told at the May council meeting that it had been delayed for various reasons.

But there has been a delay in finishing the engineer’s design. This needs to be completed to enable the tendering of the works.

Deputy Chief Executive Nick Brown went into detail about the reason for the delay at the meeting.

“This project has been delayed due to the delays in getting the engineer’s design completed,” Mr Brown said. “The latest program is that we have received the building services layout that has been completed.

“We were due to complete the tender documentation today. That hasn’t been completed. Expectations of that will happen over the next couple of days and the rest of the time frames are roughly the same.

“The architect is suggesting that we go to a select tender, which is an option in accordance to our procurement policy.”

Mr Brown added that the council could go with select tender or open tender options for the project. Council’s architect has said there are a certain number of builders in the South East that have expertise in building medical centres, suggesting that council use select tender in undertaking this process.

Cr David Loxton was doubtful about the architect’s suggestion to opt for a select tendering process.

“Doesn’t it say that it could go to either? Select or open?” Cr Loxton asked.

“That’s correct,” Mr Brown confirmed.

Cr Loxton: “Well, why wouldn’t you go open tender? How do you know how many people exactly are qualified out there to do this?”

“They’ve dealt with them over a number of years building medical facilities in the South East,” Mr Brown replied. 

Cr Loxton: “Exactly how many people out there would want to tender for this? There might be other people, you seem to have decided that open tender is not on your list.”

Mr Brown: “At the end of the day, that’s your call, his advice to us is that this is the best process.”

Cr Loxton: “I’m just against it, it may reduce the amount, you’re only going to bring in two to three people.”

Cr John Enright stepped in, questioning Cr Loxton’s argument against the architect’s advice.

“Cr Loxton, what is the point in having someone who’s got the best price that doesn’t have the expertise to do the job?” 

Mayor Peter Riseley expressed eagerness to move on, with time running out and other items to get through.

“Could someone please make a motion so that we can get on with this.” 

Cr Loxton moved that the council release the project to open tender, but his motion lapsed for want of a seconder.

Council instead approved a motion to release a selected tender for the work. Council have budgeted $600 000 towards the project.