New contractor for Eagleby drainage
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New contractor for Eagleby drainage

A new contractor has been chosen to deliver the Eagleby master drainage project following outcry from residents after months of limbo.

The project, which began in early 2023, was reportedly abandoned by workers in December last year, followed by a period of wet weather and the collapse of the project’s first contractor, Allroads.

Road closures, clouds of dust, holes in the road and eyesores plagued Eagleby residents for months.

Last week a new contractor was appointed.

Local councillor Karen Murphy said it was a relief to be “moving forward”.

“We’re trying to get this project complete as quickly as possible – nobody wanted this to happen,” Cr Murphy said.

“For Allroads to go into liquidation, it not only affects the residents that have a job half-finished, but we’ve also got local contractors that have been affected by this.”

She said Allroads had been a trusted and reliable contractor for all levels of government.

“They had a ten-year record with council, they were an all-government supplier, and Transport and Main Roads had approved them,” Cr Murphy said.

“Obviously, in today’s economic times, these things do happen.”

The new company, BMD Constructions, is set to start preparations on 20 May.

According to council, BMD crews will need to assess the status of existing works, revised costings and create a schedule before starting construction.

Mayor Jon Raven said BMD was a reliable replacement with a 15-year history with council but acknowledged “that’s what we said about Allroads before”.

He said council’s tender process was thorough and involved going further than other levels of government.

“We do the exact same process the state government does, but then we also get an independent financial assessment done,” Cr Raven said.

Cr Raven said the independent assessment of Allroads “came back roses”.

“But due to the uncertain times we’re in at the moment, businesses – especially those that do earthworks – have pretty high cashflow demands and obviously they had run into some difficulties,” he said.

“When you tender for a company, everything might look great, but you don’t know how many projects they’ve taken on after they started your job.

“Council tried to work with Allroads, because we knew that would be the fastest and cheapest outcome, but once they’ve gone into liquidation you can’t do that anymore.”

Cr Raven said council had “never faced an issue like this before”.

“I don’t know how we would have anticipated it any better,” he said.

“The only thing we could have done better was to communicate with the community earlier that the project was going slow.”

He said council would, in future, continue to “do our due diligence” by completing the independent assessments of contractors and ensuring open communication with residents.

 

 

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