Calls to defer Rockingham foreshore works rejected

Stuart HortonSound Telegraph
Railway Terrace with stage one works completed.
Camera IconRailway Terrace with stage one works completed. Credit: City of Rockingham

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, 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 per day, or between $20,000 and $28,000 per 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, Councillor 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 night’s council meeting.

“I’m concerned not all risks have been assessed fully given the time constraints, but I support this with reservations,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin said she was concerned about changing the timeline for works, while Mayor Barry Sammels said he had personally met with some business owners to allay concerns about the recommencement of work, specifically brick paving works.

“I think we’re all keen to get this completed and deferring works brings us closer to an October/November completion but I’d like to think we’re finished by then and those business owners can put the worst of it behind them,” he said.

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