Gloucester aerial. Courtesy of MidCoast Council.

In the middle of construction, works have been suspended on Gloucester’s water supply network after the head contractor went into liquidation.

The head contractor, FB Contracting, went into liquidation in late March 2022 and now has a liquidator appointed.

Construction for the $21 million upgrade started in June 2021 and is 50 per cent complete. Work undertaken includes the majority of new water main as well as substantial progress on the smaller steel reservoir.

MidCoast Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott, explained the project was due to be finished towards the end of 2022.

Progress on the project has been challenged since construction began by factors such as the impacts of COVID, border restrictions, materials supply issues and wet weather.

“This project is important for the Gloucester community. Not only will it replace some of the existing aged infrastructure it will improve the water pressure and quality through town,” Mr Scott said.

“It is unfortunate the contractor has gone into liquidation midway through the construction project. It has been a challenging time for the whole construction industry especially with the impact of increasing costs such as fuel.

“MidCoast Council recognises that some local businesses will be affected by this news and we will be working with the liquidator to ensure the interests of the community are preserved as much as possible.”

Mr Scott said it is likely that this situation will create further delays and some additional costs for the project.

“We will be doing some urgent work on the project to ensure that customers impacted by the current construction progress have a reliable water supply,” Mr Scott said.

“We will also be considering all of the options we have to keep the project continuing as soon as practical while reserving our rights under the contract.”

Image: Aerial of Gloucester. Courtesy of MidCoast Council.

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