Maryborough Aquatic Centre upset
DEEP anger is growing among Fraser Coast architects and planners in the wake of what some say is council’s “giant slap in our face” over the redevelopment of the $6.5 million Maryborough Aquatic Centre.
The high-profile Brisbane firm of Guymer Bailey won when its $427,900 tender was given the nod in a confidential council session on October 13 after the motion was moved by councillor Sue Brooks and seconded by councillor Debbie Hawes.
Guymer Bailey’s bid was neither the lowest nor the highest of the 19 that tendered but three Fraser Coast bids were around $100,000, $55,000 and $25,000 below the Brisbane firm’s price.
Of the nine councillors present, only Gerard O’Connell and Les MucKan voted against the contract going out of town.
“We’re deeply disappointed with this decision,” a prominent Hervey Bay town planner said yesterday.
“At least four local firms either bid or were represented in this region to win the tender yet it went out of town.
“It wasn’t as if any of the tenderers actually submitted designs where council could have said ‘Wow, that’s terrific’. Tenderers merely gave the prices they would charge for doing the design. This is just a public swimming pool design. It is not the Opera House.”
But deputy mayor Julie Arthur points out that of 12 council-awarded contracts “currently being worked on” only one has gone off-shore – the aquatic centre.
“It’s as though being local with this council almost counts against us,” one of the other Fraser Coast tenderers said.