- Posted by IanMuttonAdmin
- On January 10, 2022
North Sydney’s Olympic Pool – is it on “time” and “budget”?
It was a year ago that I wrote on the pool – https://www.ianmutton.com/2021/01/17/north-shore-community-newsletter-23-olympic-pool/ . With a newly elected council it’s time for an update.
The decision was taken in 2020 to go ahead with the rebuild of the pool
The contract for the rebuild:
- Is based on the Australian Standard AS4000-1997 Construction Contract modified for the rebuild project; and
- was then put out to tender.
The tender process was reported on by a probity advisor. The report was fulsome and complimentary.
The contract was awarded at the start of this year.
Council reported in December 2021:
The entire budget allocation, including the design phase, consultation, DA preparation, construction and an allowance for contingencies has increased from $57.9M to $63.9M.
The increase occurred after obtaining competitive tenders and adjusting for risk factors associated with construction on the edge of the harbour.
The budget allocution has not changed since reported in December 2021.
The challenge is to bring the project in on time, within budget and resist scope changes that add to the cost or reduce the amenity.
The last report to council was made in October 2021 (at the last substantive meeting before the election). The report was comprehensive; it included details of all claims for (a) extension of time to complete and (b) variation (accepted and pending), as well as details of funds applied and scope changes. Because the report included strategies for the negotiations with the contractor, most notably on variations, it was received by councillors in “confidential” session.
Time for completion (construction commencement date of 9 March 2021 with a contracted completion date of 14 November 2022.
- Variations to the timeline total 60 days – with nearly one third attributed to COVID and weather-related factors and the balance to the removal of hazardous materials (notably asbestos).
Variations impacting on budget – Approved variations are, given the size of the project, small – less than $200,000. Unapproved claims for variations (at values attributed by council) are within the amount allowed for contingencies.
- The challenges for council are to minimise the exposure to claims for variations and critically appraise those that are made.
Scope changes are minor.
The project is large and complex – it requires tight management to prevent cost over runs.
We councillors will ultimately be judged by our constructive involvement with the delivery of the project – the need is to understand of the reports and not just rely on the summaries provided by others.