Cr Ian Petersen.
Cr Ian Petersen.

No answer to who signed off on contract

HANDING Aurecon two flood design projects worth more than $700,000 without putting them to public tender was side-stepping "due process", Cr Ian Petersen said yesterday.

Aurecon is the engineering consultancy that undertook the Gympie region flood mitigation study and found a worthwhile cost benefit in building a levee across the Albert Park touch ovals, as well as other flood mitigation measures throughout the region.

Yesterday, Aurecon was awarded the $223,875 contract to design the Monkland flood route, and the $483,000 contract to complete the levee pre-design.

The "pre-design" will determine the viability of the levee and precede the "detailed design", which will be put to public tender after Christmas.

Gympie Regional Council will use part of the $3.5 million it has already allocated for the levee to meet a third of the cost of the pre-design, and other funds already allocated to meet a third of the cost of the Monkland flood route design - a total of about $230,000.

The State Government will pay the rest.

Cr Petersen asked during a fiery and emotional meeting yesterday morning who within the council was authorised to sign off on a $483,000 contract without first gaining council approval.

His question went unanswered.

Aurecon was given both contracts because of a Local Buy arrangement it has with the Local Government Association of Queensland.

Cr Petersen said yesterday the "urgency" to get the designs under way - particularly the levee pre-design - had meant due process was "side-stepped".

"It makes you wonder if Aurecon would have been keen to massage the figures with the prospect of a contract of this size hanging off the end of it," he said.

"We have no guarantee that we can proceed with a levee yet.

"(If we cannot) this money will be a sheer waste.

"I just think we should get the funding before we go to this expense."

Gympie Times


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