|WE'RE UNSURE ABOUT REPORTS THAT|
FKG USED UPSIDE-DOWN BLUEPRINTS
FOR THIS BUILDING
Just one week after public consultations closed on the (very limited) public information about what's proposed to be constructed, Manning sprinted a $53M contract for the project through Council yesterday.
The process of "consultation" is supposed to result in taking the comments into account and, when appropriate, making the changes suggested by the ratepayers.
This Council idea of consultation: "You get your say, but we're doing what we want".
The Toowoomba-based contractor winner was FK Gardner (FKG). Local tenderers were rejected in the rush to award this contract. Insiders at Council have called the contract "extremely high risk" for Council as project documentation is not close to being completed.
Even more interesting is how this Toowoomba-based FKG has been blocked from bidding on even Toowoomba Council projects a fraction of the size! FKG was called 'inexperienced' and 'incapable" by the Toowoomba Council for even the construction of a library!
FKG was also rejected as a shortlisted builder for the Toowoomba Empire Theatre expansion project.
Queensland-government listed "Tier 1 Builders" (of which FGK is NOT) all have apparently passed on bidding on Manning's Folly. One of these Tier 1 builders called it "a sucker's bid" - again due to the lack of documentation and the complexity of building a theatre.
The current construction at the Tobruk Pool, originally promised for this month by Manning and the Council, is months behind and reportedly millions over budget. How many millions is unknown since the Cairns Council under Manning stopped reporting the cost position of large projects monthly. Even Councillors have been told they are not entitled to this information!
Adco, the contractor at the Tobruk Pool expressed interest in building the theatre but council officers thought this unwise if, as rumoured, they will likely be sued for their performance on this pool rebuild.
FK Gardner MD Gary Gardner blasted the Toowoomba Council when he was passed over on the library project.
"YOU WOULD THINK COUNCIL WOULD FAVOUR LOCAL COMPANIES IN ORDER TO GROW THE LOCAL ECONOMY. . ." he said.
While the Cairns Chamber has been repeatedly pushing for more local participation in these kinds of CRC projects, Deb Hancock and her lackeys have been mum in supporting all the local companies that have been passed-over in this deal.
At the last election Bob Manning repeatedly demanded that a project requirement was co-location with the Cairns Convention Centre. Unable to do this and unable to secure any money after giving back $93M, he's now rushing to build SOMETHING. Pathetic, really.
We hope the residents of Cairns like paying millions for crap. That's what we're going to get.