New RFS shed doesn’t come up to the council’s standards

A newly constructed shed for the RFS in Railway Parade South doesn’t meet council’s building standards and has been deemed not fit for use.

Cobar Shire Council is currently weighing up their options as to what to do with a project that ran 18 months overtime and delivered a defective building.

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) shed in Railway Parade South is a project being managed by council on behalf of the RFS.

“Unfortunately the contractor has let us down: the building he proposed to handover was not acceptable to council or the RFS,” Cobar Shire General Manger, Peter Vlatko told The Cobar Weekly.

“The building has not been built in accordance with the contract plans.

“Some of the major components in the building are inconsistent with materials specified and the workmanship is poor,” he said.

Mr Vlatko said he was advised of the problems with the build when he took over the general manager’s role last May.

He said his first action was to stop any further payments being made to the contractor until the work was brought up to a standard so that a Certificate of Practical Completion under the contract and an Occupation Certificate could be issued to use the building.

Mr Vlatko said attempts to have the contractor address the defects with the ‘as built design and construction’ were essentially ignored.

He said the contractor sort payment from council under the Building Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 1999 and the outcome of the payment adjudication claim went against council.

Council’s attempts to freeze payments to the contractor were overruled by a Supreme Court Order last month.

Mr Vlatko said the legal challenge was frustrating and expensive and they still have a building that doesn’t comply with standards.

Cobar Shire councillors at the February Ordinary Meeting have approved for Mr Vlatko to move forward with the matter which may include further legal action against the contractor who constructed the building.

“The reality is that the RFS will be provided with a facility, whether it’s the same one or not, that’s yet to be determined,” Mr Vlatko said. “It could be a brand new building or
fixing this one.”