SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

SURELY it doesn’t cost $102 million to build two swimming pools?

And in reality, it doesn’t.

Even on the Bass Coast Shire Council’s figures, it would only cost $27.5 million to actually build a new pool at Wonthaggi with the remainder of the $42 million taken up in external works and services $3.5m, design contingencies $3.1m and construction contingencies and fees almost $8 million.
Similar with the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre project.

The problem with public buildings these days is that, because of the risk-averse nature of the public service, no one in the employ of councils or government departments wants to take responsibility for design and project management. They pay consultants to do all that.

Plus, where government is involved, you have the issues with preference for fully unionised workforces and preferred construction firms, under strict instructions to source materials from central suppliers.

The result is not only are you paying through the nose for design and project management, but you’re also cutting local builders and tradesmen out of the action.

Not that it matters a great deal at the moment.

But the cost of public facilities’ construction is getting way out of hand at the moment and there should be an inquiry into it.

It would be interesting, by way of comparison, to find out how much Newhaven College was paying for its pool.