MidCoast Council’s stalled Gloucester water upgrade will proceed under a new hybrid model of delivery, with selective tenders to be called before a new head contractor is appointed.

Work on the project halted in early April after head contractor FB Contracting went into liquidation.

The new model of delivery will see selective tenders called before a new head contractor is appointed to complete the remaining work at the Cemetery Road reservoir site. Council will complete the majority of work outside the site.

The project was around 50 per cent complete at the time it was suspended, with FB Contracting only being paid for work that had been completed.

Up to an additional $4 million is estimated to be required to complete the project. This provides a greater contingency for risk as well as increases in material and equipment costs over the past 18 months.

The project is expected to be completed by late 2023, 12 months behind the original schedule.

Of the three options investigated by Council, the hybrid model was considered the most cost-effective and least prone to risk.

Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott, said the decision provided clarity and reassurance to the people of Gloucester that the project would be completed.

“We understand this disruption has been a cause for concern in the Gloucester community,” Mr Scott said.

“It’s unfortunate the project had to be put on hold, but with the path forward now clear we’re confident we’ve got the plan in place to ensure these much-needed improvements will be delivered.”

Council will develop an updated schedule for the work and seek to appoint a new head contractor from the previous tender submissions.

The Gloucester water upgrade is being undertaken to address historical issues with the town’s water supply and replace infrastructure that has deteriorated over time.

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