Why is it that every single major project in Glen Eira is always behind schedule and not just by a few months, but sometimes by years? Duncan McKinnon pavilion is just the latest in this history of delay, budget blowouts, and possibly another legal battle. To compound this dismal record there is always the accompanying silence and keeping residents in the dark as much as possible.

This year’s Annual Report proves our point. Buried on page 82 there is this one, solitary sentence: Construction has commenced but walls and roof are not yet complete. The builder is behind schedule due to rework on items which have not met quality standards

Quality standards? So a ten million dollar project that was initially earmarked for half that price is again the victim of poor workmanship? What should concern ratepayers is:

  • Has Council called in the legal eagles again and how much is this costing?
  • Has Council called in consultants to ‘correct’ the ‘errors’ and how much is this costing?
  • Has Maxstra (the builder) in fact walked off the job since there is now no hoardings advertising their involvement?
  • How much ‘remedial’ work has been undertaken and who is paying for this?

The most pertinent question however involves councillors and how well they have been keeping their eye on the ball. Pilling, in particular, promised much, but has delivered little. His blog on December 25th 2011 had this comment:

At the first Councillor assembly meeting in January I have requested a full update and explanation by our administration for the current situation. I acknowledge there were some delays caused by VicRoads in approving the new carpark entrances. However this should not have prevented the preparation and finalisation of the tender documents for construction being completed.

Then 16months later on April 8th 2013 we get this ‘promise’ –

Recently along with other Councillors I was provided with an on-site tour of the construction site of our current major capital project – the new pavillion at Duncan Mckinnon. This is a $9.5 million project that will deliver wonderful new modern facilities to the literally thousands of local children and families who play sport at our busiest recreational facility. There will also be a reconfiguration of the carpark to allow for safer traffic movements.

As one who competed on the track from the mid-seventies to now seeing family members participating in the netball competitions there, it is especially pleasing to see this progress.

The photos above show the construction is well advanced-with completion on track for the end of March next year and I will post regular updates

Needless to say, that is the last we have heard about Duncan McKinnon from this councillor, and in fact Council as a whole. Nothing has been mentioned in Council Meetings and the records of assembly generally are silent on the issue.

The Annual Report states that walls and roof should have been completed. Below we feature a photo we took over the weekend. The roof is nowhere to be seen and walls are barely up. In six months nothing has practically changed!

P1000178

But that’s not the end of the story. Victory Park change rooms are also well behind schedule. The ‘excuse? – The scope of works was increased to deal with poor ground conditions, requiring the works to be tendered which has delayed the delivery of the project. Works are currently in progress.

Could so much bad luck really be hounding poor old Glen Eira Council? Or are these delays partly the response to a cash flow crisis?

PS: The tender for Victory Park closed on the 17th May 2013. That’s 5 months to add two change rooms and showers. Multi-storey buildings are completed in less time!

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