The saga with GESAC rolls on and on. Contractual problems such as liquidated damages, delays in opening, another year’s extension on final settlement, and now the unwilling admission that there are some major construction faults doesn’t paint a pretty picture of council’s oversighting of this entire project. There’s no doubt that there are problems when pools are closed for weeks at a time for ‘maintenance’ on a facility that has barely been in existence for a year. Lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank whilst council is still pouring more and more money into GESAC. In the past 6 months there’s been the diversion of $45,000 from a maternal child care centre to GESAC, plus another $15,000 recently announced. And we mustn’t forget 2 car park extensions and the ludicrous relocation of a playground that has ended up costing over a million dollars. Now full page colour advertisements have started again. When we’re repeatedly told that the place is a roaring success, then we have to ask whether continued, and expensive advertising, is warranted or even necessary.

The latest evidence of things not going smoothly just happens to be a tender advertisement in The Age.

“Contract No.: 2014.025
GESAC – Replacement of AHU and Associated Ducting
Requirement: Replacement of pool air handler and associated return & exhaust portion of ducting.

Tenders Closing date:
4 October 2013 by 4.00 pm.”

What caught our eye is the fact that it is not Hansen & Yuncken that are tendering but council. Does this therefore mean that ratepayers are footing another bill to rectify problems with GESAC? Given that this has gone out to tender, then we can assume that the costs will run into tens of thousands. Of course, expecting council to actually inform its residents as to the real state of affairs is nothing more than a pipe dream. The illusion of smooth sailing must be maintained. Here are some fundamental questions about GESAC and its overall governance:

  • Have any councillors ever seen, or even requested, a ledger account of every cent spent and every cent earned?
  • Did any councillors ever clap eyes on the contract with Hansen & Yuncken, or was all this left in the ‘capable’ hands of officers?
  • And if we’re talking of tendering, was the architect’s work ever tendered, since we can find no record of this in any newspaper?
  • When will residents (and councillors) be told the true costs of GESAC?
  • Are ratepayers still subsidising the Warriors for the basketball allocations?