“We’ll get it done quicker”

Moving forward: Camden Council staff will now complete town centre improvement works after the original contractors entered voluntary administration.
Moving forward: Camden Council staff will now complete town centre improvement works after the original contractors entered voluntary administration.

Contractors commissioned to complete a part of the Camden town centre upgrades have entered voluntary administration.

All steam ahead: Camden Council staff are hard at work to complete the Stage 1A of the Camden town centre improvement works. Picture: Chris Lane

All steam ahead: Camden Council staff are hard at work to complete the Stage 1A of the Camden town centre improvement works. Picture: Chris Lane

Hargraves Urban was contracted to complete the Stage 1A works in Camden – from John Street to approximately Oxley Street – and was last month placed into administration.

Works are now being completed by council staff and will be finished by the end of July and within the allocated budget.

Mayor Lara Symkowiak said this development was a positive result for the area, as Camden Council had been unimpressed with the contractors’ inability to stick to schedule.

“I think it’s actually a positive thing, we’ll get [the works] done quicker,” Cr Symkowiak said.

“We’ve called in the council staff and it’s only a matter of a couple of weeks before we finish Stage 1A.

“It’s no secret that we were disappointed with how the original contractor worked out, but we were in a contract with them and we had to work with them to see the project through to completion.”

Up to 12 council workers will undertake the landscaping and paving works that still need to be completed.

A council spokesman said Hargraves was extensively looked into before being selected as the contractors for Stage 1A.

“Council undertook a two stage tender process,” the spokesman said.

“As part of this process reference checks were done and the tender was reported to council at its ordinary meeting of July 28, 2015.”

Council was made aware last year that the contractor had fallen behind schedule and would not meet the anticipated completion date in November.

Cr Symkowiak said she was “not surprised” the company went into administration given Hargraves were unable to complete the works to schedule.

“That they’ve gone into voluntary administration is very telling of where they were at,” she said.

“It was obvious with the standard of work that they were spread pretty thin.

“It was a relief for us to get out of the contract and get our staff in.”

The mayor said council had withheld payment to the contractors for works that were incomplete.

She said that money is now being used to finish Stage 1A.

It was a relief for us to get out of the contract and get our staff in.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak

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