Will it be another tied vote leaving Mayor Denise Knight to consider using her casting vote?
Will it be another tied vote leaving Mayor Denise Knight to consider using her casting vote?

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More heated debate is on the cards this week as Coffs Harbour City Councillors consider appointing an early building contract for the Cultural and Civic Space.

The last time it was on the agenda the debate was particularly bitter with constant outbursts from the public gallery.

There were even heated exchanges between Councillors and members of the public registered to address the February 13 meeting.

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Mayor Denise Knight had to repeatedly warn Gai Anderson as she took to the microphone and alluded to ongoing breaches of conduct and conflicts of interest.

"I ask you to please tread carefully Ms Anderson…please do not make allegations…please, I am warning you let's get to the point I have not broken any rules," Cr Knight repeated.

The situation escalated when Councillor Michael Adendorff suggested Ann Leonard, who has been a vocal critic of the Cultural and Civic Space, should "spend more time in the library madam".

 

An artist’s impression of the Cultural and Civic Space which will include an art gallery, museum, library and Council offices and meeting rooms.
An artist’s impression of the Cultural and Civic Space which will include an art gallery, museum, library and Council offices and meeting rooms.

When it came to the vote Councillors were once again locked into the familiar four/four split on whether or not to proceed with awarding the contracts for three key roles: project manager, head design consultant and cost manager. With votes tied Mayor Denise Knight used her casting vote to progress the contracts.

Those arguing against progressing with tenders pointed to the fact the State Government is yet to approve Council's DA for the $76.5m Gordon Street project. Others argued it was very likely the DA would be approved by mid-year and that to delay could just lead to cost overruns.

 

Council’s public gallery has been full to overflowing when the matter has come up in the past. Photo Trevor Veale
Council’s public gallery has been full to overflowing when the matter has come up in the past. Photo Trevor Veale

The contract to be considered at this week's Council meeting is a for a builder to participate in design development from 30 per cent to 80 per cent documentation and, potentially, to undertake construction under a future 'design and construction' contract.

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Known as Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) services will include:

- working collaboratively with the Principal's designer and other consultants to develop the design and detailed Design Documents.

- to fully interrogate the design for buildability, inconsistency, incompleteness or other issues.

- assessment and review of site documentation, reports and authority approvals.

- ensuring the construction works are sufficiently designed and documented to enable the principal to obtain fixed lump sum pricing for design completion and construction

- to develop a scope of works for the construction phase so as to encompass all of the relevant requirements for the work including access, approvals and submitting working drafts on a monthly basis.

The following two organisations submitted compliant tenders and will now be considered:

- Lipman Pty Ltd

- Watpac Construction Pty Limited.