POST BUILDING COLLAPSE UPDATES

THE PERIOD POST COLLAPSE HAS SEEN THE COMMITTEE UNDERTAKING MASSIVE WORKLOADS TO KEEP THE PROJECT ALIVE.

IN ORDER TO ALLOW PUBLIC DIGESTION OF THESE UNDERTAKINGS THIS SECTION WILL BE DEVOTED TO POST COLLAPSE CORRESPONDENCE

AND GENERAL COMMUNITY UPDATES.

COMMUNITY UPDATE AUGUST 2020

 

First formation of RADSPA began in 1982.

Contracts with the Project Manager and Builder were signed in late 2017. All necessary documentation and approvals were in place. Insurances carried by RADSPA were Single Project Site Fire and Theft, Public Liability and Volunteer Indemnity.

The building Collapsed in May 2018 with around ¾ of a $m having been spent and around 70% of tasks complete.

The site was then under jurisdiction of Safe Work.

By August 2108 it was obvious that a conciliatory approach was not going to produce an outcome.

Legal representation was sourced. This involved engaging the services of a legal team comprising, solicitor, Counsel, and a Forensic Engineer.

The Forensic Engineer was tasked with reporting on the reasons for the collapse, providing a Safe Work approved demolition process, recommending improvements to the building design and apportioning responsibility for the collapse from a legal standpoint. His recommendations and general cost increases over time would eventually increase the build costs to a point of almost doubling the original estimates.

Despite constant requests from the committee the legal process involving the defendant’s insurance assessors took almost 12 months to gain a response. The legal proceedings are still ongoing. We are hopeful of resolving the matter without having to resort to court proceedings. Court proceedings would most probably delay any resolution by several years.

Due to the sensitivity of the proceedings, during this period our legal representatives have undertaken responsibility for release of information on the process being undertaken.

While proceedings are ongoing RADSPA has continuing outgoings exceeding $1,000.00 per month to cover rent, insurances and security of the site.

The events that have affected the community during the last year have virtually ensured that the Robertson Aquatic Centre will not be completed in its current form. It is almost certain that additional funding will not be able to be sourced for the RAC project.

Considering this RADSPA has been canvassing the idea of redeveloping the site as a Community Sports Centre with the ability to be transformed to an Emergency Refuge at short notice. Committee members have made approaches to government at all levels and sporting and community groups to obtain an insight into the best facility design to suit each group’s needs. Meetings with senior RFS personnel have been very fruitful. RFS officials have visited the site to assist in developing the proposal. Cricket and Basketball officials have provided valuable assistance, as have Infrastructure and Regional Development officials.

A major aspect of design is that the footprint needs to be increased to allow a basketball court to be the base sizing for any reasonable usage, remembering that the original footprint was to allow the erection of a 25metre 4 lane pool. Towards this end we have been working with the Robertson Bowling Club, who as owner of the site would need to have the final say on any changes. This is because the footprint would increase to near boundary lines of the existing Bowling Club blocks.

To facilitate this action a Memorandum of Understanding has been formulated and signed by the RADSPA and Bowling Club Presidents. This represents a sign of intent and is not a legal contract.

Informal discussions have been held with Council representatives to gauge their thoughts and interpretations on proposed site redevelopment plans. Their insights have provided valuable assistance in preparing the basis for any submissions.

Covid-19 restrictions will have an impact on the ability of any group to undertake Public meetings of any reasonable size. Towards this end the RADSPA committee is working to formulate a proposal that will allow members of the community to participate in any decision making on the future of the RAC site while remaining within Covid guidelines.

As with most organisations, RADSPA has had difficulty attracting membership and funding support other than grants. Since 2005, donations, not including grant and membership money, has only amounted to $55.00. For the last several years, public attendance at AGM’s has rarely exceeded 3 people.

All AGM’s have been notified and publicised in the media, additionally, there have been mailouts, leaflet drops and notices placed around town in an effort to garner public interest. At each AGM the results of the committees’ previous years activities are tabled, as are the President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report and the Auditor’s Report. RADSPA’s accounts are audited yearly.