Rann Government mismanagement and incompetence has meant three country communities would be without CFS stations during the coming critical fire season.
“CFS stations at Balaklava, Hamley Bridge and Wilmington were knocked down earlier this year with the promise that the new stations would be built by the start of the summer fire season,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“As a result of a major contractual dispute all work has stopped on the new CFS stations for at least the last six weeks and CFS Brigades believe the earliest date for completion is likely to be February next year.
“CFS representatives at Wilmington have highlighted their CFS resources are now stored in three or four locations in the community at a time when they are facing the worst fire season in 20 years.
“This mismanagement by the Rann Government potentially places our country communities at risk if there is a major fire in the summer.
“The Liberal Party has also been advised that a group of eight angry subcontractors have stopped all work on the projects as they demand payment of $280,000 in unpaid fees.
“SAFECOM’s dispute is with Unique Building Pty Ltd, which was awarded the lucrative Construction Management Services contract earlier this year.
“In June this year SAFECOM made a significant up-front payment of $1.5 million to Unique, and questions have been asked of the Minister for Emergency Services to ensure all the appropriate government guidelines were followed by SAFECOM.
“SAFECOM have written a 19-page letter to Unique about two months ago claiming extensive examples of non-performance under the terms of the contract.
“The letter claims that Unique has ‘failed to comply with the above contract requirement to date’ and ‘immediate action is required by Unique’ for more than 50 separate items. Two examples of these items are ensuring contractors insurances are in order and making regular visits to workplaces to inspect quality, progress and delivery.
“SAFECOM have now demanded repayment of $740,000 from Unique of the $1.5 million given to them in June.
“As of this week there had been no reply by Unique.
“The Minister and SAFECOM must now take urgent action to ensure the CFS stations are built as soon as possible and subcontractors are paid.”