At its August Council meeting, Council voted to prioritise and pursue the completion of the proposed multi-million dollar regional playspace at Giblins Reserve, Goodwood.
While this does mean a change to the original plan, which included both Giblins Reserve and Montrose Foreshore park developments under the Federal Government playspaces grant, it is one that is reflective of the current economic landscape we as Council, and the industry as a whole, are experiencing.
To manage expectations and to continue delivering to our community we are seeking a change within the funding agreement to deliver one playspace in our City, rather than two at this time.
In the face of current pandemic supply restrictions and new market costings, the decision was balanced against the careful management of available supplies and labour as Council, along with the rest of the world, face an increasing demand and significant delay on valuable construction materials.
In late 2019, Council received approval for a $2m Federal Government grant to upgrade our playspaces at Montrose Foreshore Park and Giblins Reserve, Goodwood. Council also committed a further $1.4m towards the provision of safe, inclusive and regionally specific playspaces for our community.
Since then, we have consulted regularly with our community and engaged designers to incorporate the community’s ideas into a destination playspace for Glenorchy.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 our plans, like many others across the country, were delayed and timelines were pushed out with our tender process.
Once the designs were finalised and feedback on the draft sought from the community, we pursued a tender process at the end of 2020 to select the right candidate to build the playspaces.
What emerged was a clear indicator of the vast impact that COVID-19 has had on the building and construction industry. The tender process revealed that due to supply, the availability of contractors and labour, the original budget no longer fit the current market to deliver two regional playspaces.
We were faced with two choices:
To seek further grants to effectively double the project budget and expand the delivery timeline or, focus on completing one playspace in its entirety rather than two vastly scaled back and incomplete projects. We chose the latter.
Our community deserves a new playspace and we all need something to look forward to right now, in a time when our community is still reeling from the ongoing effects this pandemic has brought.
We’ve learned from past mistakes with large projects and we want to deliver key projects without risking a major blowout with time and budget. Council’s current project team are skilled and pragmatic and they know our community expect realistic and timely delivery with our projects.
Completing projects during an uncertain climate is challenging but Council is committed to ongoing communication on the status of all projects and being transparent with the information that is uncovered during key stages. Our project team are skilled and experienced in dealing with unforeseen hurdles and, like many other industry partners in our area, we are managing a sensible approach to ensure a successful result for our community.