Rattler blowout will cost ratepayers millions: Hartwig
UPDATE: Gympie councillor Glen Hartwig has blasted the decisions which he says have led to the council being taken by surprise on the Mary Valley Rattlers' new problems.
The economic development councillor says the individuals who put the council in this position should pay the cost themselves.
"You would not have to be Nostradamus to predict that something like this could happen," he said.
"We took an idea that had limited business credibility and applied less good governance and financial management than a five-year-old running a lemonade stall.
Now we stand around in amazement and wonder how this could be.
"The individuals who conjured up this idea to send good ratepayer dollars after bad should pay the bill.
"The lack of due process, poor governance and ineptitude displayed in the push for this project defies belief," he said.
"I predicted some months ago that this would happen and some individuals refused to listen.
"This will cost the ratepayers millions this year and in years to come," he said.
THE much-awaited Mary Valley Rattler will not run by December as previously promised by the Gympie Regional Council.
Mayor Mick Curran said the timetable for having the Rattler up and running has now blown out to early March next year due to infrastructure delays.
The delay appears to raise doubt about the state government's multi-million-dollar contribution to the project, which was originally conditional on the steam train running by December, although the council is believed to have approached the state government about possible extensions of time if needed.
The Gympie Times is seeking clarification on this from the state government and the council and will keep readers informed as further information comes to hand.
The council has been notified that the completion of the rail infrastructure to Amamoor for the Rattler Rail project will not be completed by deadline.
"As the Contractor and the consultant project manager reviewed each bridge in preparation for restoration works to commence, a number of additional bridge components requiring replacement, beyond what was llisted in the specification, have been identified," a council spokeswoman has just announced.
"Council is currently finalising negotiations with the Contractor," she said.
Council will be reviewing the adequacy of the contract specifications prepared by an external consultant and reviewing the reasons why it has been found to be inadequate, and what actions, if any, need to be taken on the matter.
"This is not a notification we are happy about, however we need to deal with the reality of the situation," Mayor Mick Curran commented.
"This was always going to be a challenging project, and we were aware of this when Council made the decision to commence, however it will deliver an enormous benefit to the community and this is what we continue to work towards."
By the end of December 2017, around 70% of the work will be completed, with the track works complete to Amamoor and six (6) of the thirteen (13) bridges completed including the three largest bridges at Deep Creek, Mary River and Amamoor Creek.
Station works are also scheduled for completion by the end of December including refurbishment of the Gympie Station, a new platform at Amamoor Station and maintenance works at Dagun Station.
"Council and the Rattler Railway Company look forward to the opening of the Gympie Station by the end of December and the relaunch of Mary Valley Rattler rail services in time for the 2018 Easter school holidays."