Monday 9 January 2012

Acting Mayor Cr Cochrane agrees to call tenders | Has she done another backflip?

Tenders called for $155m Cairns Entertainment Precinct work

Nick Dalton
Saturday, January 7, 2012
© The Cairns Post

More progress: Work on the $155 million Cairns Entertainment Project should start in March

More than 150 workers will be required to build the $155 million Cairns Entertainment Precinct with the first signs of construction activity scheduled to start in March.

The Cairns Regional Council is advertising for contractors this weekend to begin early works. The first activity will be the investigative works on the restoration of White’s Shed for community and cultural activities in March followed by the preliminary works for the precinct from June 1 which include the realignment of a service road and relocation of stormwater drains and electrical cabling.

Expressions of interest are being sought for the major managing contractor to work with the project team to develop the design within budget in preparation for a fixed priced contract. As well, tenders are being invited from building contractors for works on White’s Shed which include removing concrete covering 2000sqm of timber flooring.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the construction of the precinct will create more than 150 jobs and inject millions of dollars into the local economy. Project manager Linda Cardew said the council was hoping that 85 per cent of the workers required will be hired from the Cairns area as well as a high proportion of materials, goods and services required for the project due for a 2015 completion. "This is an exciting new phase for the precinct," she said. "There have been years of lobbying for government funding, design work and financial modelling go into this project. Now here we are, ready to start building. "Contractors have until the end of the month to respond to the advertisements and I would urge the local construction industry to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be created by this project."

Ms Cardew said she believed the restoration of White’s Shed, which has an overall budget of $4 million, could be undertaken by a Far Northern construction firm. She expected a tier one contractor would be appointed to be the managing contractor, which could involve a consortium of a local and national companies.

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