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February 28, 2021

Ballina wants to use rescue tower money for sports fields

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An artist's impression of the proposed marine rescue tower. (supplied)
An artist’s impression of the proposed marine rescue tower. (supplied)

The Ballina Shire Council is considering scaling back its contribution to a new marine rescue tower and putting the money into sports fields at Wollongbar.

The council had budgeted $1,025,000 for the tower, but with increased contributions from the state and federal governments, the council now wants to contribute $400,000.

The total cost of the marine tower has been estimated to be $2,215,000, with the state government contributing $965,000 and the federal government chipping in $850,000.

Meanwhile, the council on Thursday will consider three tenders for the construction of the facility, with the preferred tenderer being Woollam Constructions, which has an office in Ballina.

Wollam Constructions has lodged a $1,781,786 tender, while Momentum Built Pty Ltd quoted $1,724,927, and Edwards Constructions (NSW) Pty Limited 
quoted $1,872,536.

‘Woollam Constructions was not the lowest overall priced tender, however Woollam Constructions have an office in Ballina and scored very high in the Local and Community component of the evaluation,’ staff said in a report to councillors.

‘Momentum Built Pty Ltd and Edwards Constructions (NSW) Pty Limited are based in Sydney and Wollongong respectively.’

With the extra money coming in from state and federal governments, staff have recommended that the council scale back its contribution.

‘With council currently contributing the largest amount for the construction of this facility, which provides a State Government service, it is reasonable, from council’s perspective, to reduce our contribution accordingly (i.e. from $1,025,000 to $400,000, a saving of $625,000),’ staff said.

‘This remains a more than reasonable contribution to the overall cost of the project. ‘

‘If council did achieve this saving, the recommendation for the expenditure of the funds saved would be to transfer the $625,000 to the finalisation of the Wollongbar Sports Fields project.

The council previously had to defer the construction of the new tennis courts, tennis clubhouse and fencing for the project due to budget shortfalls.

‘With the contractor now on site it could be in Council’s interests to have these items reinstated and completed as part of the current contract.

‘The current contract is expected to be completed by April 2016. ‘

Staff said the $625,000 saved from the marine rescue tower, and $210,000 already budgeted for the Wollongbar project, the council would have $835,000 to finalise the sports fields.

‘This would be an excellent outcome for Council,’ staff said.

Councillors meet on Thursday to discuss the tender.


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