Company withdraws from Flagstaff Hill construction project
THE construction company awarded the tender for Flagstaff Hill's proposed $3 million Conference and Cultural Centre development has withdrawn due to COVID-19.
The contract was awarded to Beep Beep Pty Ltd for the construction of the facility in February this year, however according to Whitsunday Regional Council they have withdrawn the application.
As a result of the withdrawal, the council has resolved to proceed with a design and construct tender and a capped build price.
Whitsunday Regional Council director of infrastructure services Matthew Fanning said it meant applications for the tender would be reopened.
"Council has resolved to go back to the market with a design and construct tender process with the hope of encouraging local builders to tender on the works," he said.
A 'design and construct tender' means the successful company would be in charge of both the design and the construction phase of the development.
Previously the construction tender for the project was for $3 million, with Mr Fanning saying now a new upper limit cost would be nominated as part of the tender documentation to indicate the expected maximum spend.
The project was originally planned to be completed by the end of 2020, however with the delays encountered the original funding milestones are now unachievable, thus putting significant portions of the project funding at risk.
Mr Fanning said the WRC was in negotiations with funding bodies to secure the required funding.
"Council is negotiating with both grant providers Tourism Recovery Fund (TRF) and Building Our Region (BOR) to ensure that the funds remain secured following the unfortunate withdrawal of the project by the previous appointed construction company," he said.
"Timelines will be updated once the tenderer is appointed however, the council will be endeavouring to have the facility completed within 12 months."
The long-awaited development will be used by the Girudala Community Cooperative Society to promote indigenous tourism activities.
Mr Fanning said the organisation had been contacted and their feedback would be taken into consideration in the new planning process.
"All users were consulted during the design phase and every effort will be made to accommodate their feedback within the allocated budget," he said.