SHOALHAVEN City Council has gone back to the drawing board with the tendering process for the $8 million Northern Indoor Sports Centre, cancelling the design tender awarded last week to Victorian company Etch Architectural Solutions.
The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday evening, convened to consider a rescission motion put by Cr Andrew Guile and co-signed by Cr Amanda Findley and Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash.
After a tied vote Cr Gash used her casting vote to rescind last week’s award of the design tender.
As part of the rescission motion council also moved not to accept any tenders for architectural and sub consultant services for the detailed design of the project.
Instead, it called for a report about the issuing of a design, construction and management tender with a fixed maximum price or design management tender.
The decision was welcomed by prominent local basketball identity John Martin, who has been intimately involved with the project since its inception.
“We are pleased with the new motion. It will put us back in terms of time but that’s fine if we get the design we want and the quality product to make this a worthwhile and landmark venue,” he said.
Cr Guile, who raised concerns last week when local firms were overlooked for the design tender, also welcomed the new approach.
“The idea of tender like this is that you actually insource the risk. Traditionally, we outsource the risk. The problem with that is that has to be priced into the tender,” Cr Guile said.
He said this new way of tendering might provide a template for future council projects.
“I’m really happy to be working co-operatively with the mayor on this,” he said.
Cr Gash said while she was satisfied with the processes used as part of the initial tender she felt that alternate methods of procurement might provide better project outcomes.
“While I was extremely impressed by the level of detail and the processes undertaken by council staff as part of the tender, I felt council may benefit from an alternative method of delivery of the project,” she said.
“While this process may impact on the commencement of the project it is important that council has explored all options in terms of delivery methods.”
Despite being pleased that his local
company would get another shot at bidding for the tender, architect Stephen Johansson remained caustic about the way the issue had played out.
“They don’t mind costing everyone who has to tender again $10,000 a pop because that is what it will cost,” he said.
“Now instead of an architect, a builder will be in charge so the tender document will need to be very well written otherwise council will be exposed to big risk.”
He urged council to write the new tender document with close help from the sports groups who would be using the new centre, taking care with specifications relating to flooring, seating and lighting.
Mr Johansson said he intended to bid for the new tender in conjunction with Hines Construction, with whom he had completed a number of successful sports complexes.