The Rann Government is still embroiled in a legal dispute with a building company which had refused to repay $750,000 to the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM), Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
“Evidence given to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee by SAFECOM CEO David Place has confirmed that $1.5 million was prepaid to Unique Building Pty Ltd in June 2010 for work which SAFECOM claims has not been completed,” Mr Lucas said.
“In October 2010 SAFECOM demanded repayment of $750,000 but Unique Building has refused the demand.
“SAFECOM have now confirmed they have been advised Unique Building will institute a counterclaim against them.”
Mr Place advised the Committee the project manager had resigned and investigations were continuing:
Mr Place: “The project manager was immediately suspended from duty pending the investigation and further consideration. He actually resigned during the course of the investigation… All authority of that project manager was revoked. I further requested that the Crown Solicitor engage the Government Investigations Unit to investigate this matter. I believe that investigation is complete and that evidence has been passed on to the Anti-Corruption Branch of the police. I probably can say no more. I have heard no more feedback on that matter.”
(p535, Budget and Finance Committee, 11/04/2011)
“This dispute not only means significant delays in the building of new CFS stations at Balaklava, Hamley Bridge and Wilmington, but also means extra costs to taxpayers as another firm had to be appointed to finish the projects,” Mr Lucas said.
“In addition to this dispute the Labor Government through Housing SA has another dispute with Unique Building which has stopped work on nine housing trust units and four units for people with disabilities.
“The Rann Government’s mismanagement of infrastructure projects, both large and small, continues to attract considerable criticism and sadly these examples show little progress has been made.”