City building project falters

Gavin Construction (GC) workers walked off the job on Tuesday as word got out that their employer was in trouble.

A GC representative confirmed on Thursday the company had gone under and workers were in the process of packing up their possessions.

The City of Cockburn moved quickly to activate a ‘step-in’ clause, ensuring the project ” which the City says is 70 per cent completed ” remains under its control.

City chief executive Stephen Cain said expressions of interest from builders qualified in finishing part-build projects would be called by the end of the week.

‘While there will be some delay in completing the final stage of the project, the City’s ownership of the site and its equipment mean we can re-mobilise with a new builder relatively quickly,’ Mr Cain said.

In a statement released on Thursday the City said it did not expect a cost blowout, with expectations still that the final cost would not exceed $38 million.

The City had only just paid Gavin Construction for the work completed and verified by the council’s project superintendent.

Mr Cain said similar measures would be in place to protect the City should a similar situation arise during construction of the recreation centre at Cockburn Central West, a $82 million project.

‘The City does comprehensive risk assessment for all projects, which is why we were able to step in so quickly and seize control of the project,’ he said.

‘We had a plan for this scenario and we have acted on it.

‘The City will undertake a thorough risk assessment for the recreation and aquatic facility at Cockburn Central West so that any potential issues can be dealt with promptly.’