Bermagui Bridge contractor responds to councillor’s questions on competence

Questions at the council meeting regarding a contract for work on Bermagui Bridge have led managing director of Guideline South Coast, Peter James, to issue a statement about his company and its competency.

Bermagui Bridge

Bermagui Bridge

Guideline South Coast was the successful tenderer for repair work on Bermagui Bridge, but prior to the successful contractor’s name being revealed in the council meeting, councillor Robyn Bain questioned its suitability for the work. 

Cr Bain wanted to know whether there would be a penalty clause included in the contract in the event work was not completed within an agreed time frame and suggested that “sometimes the cheapest bid is not always the best”.

Cr Bain said any delays could be difficult particular for business people in the area.

“Every time we do something with traffic it disturbs people. If we have an end time it needs to be communicated to the people of Bermagui,” Cr Bain said.

Council’s acting director of transport and utilities Ian MacFarlane said there would be clauses in the contract and that the department would decide “exactly how we will proceed”.

Guideline South Coast was awarded the contract for Eden’s main street facelift and also for the service road behind Club Sapphire Merimbula.

Fairfax Media has been told the Merimbula site was handed back to the developer a month ago.

In a statement Mr James said the company had a lot of experience and always met the time frames.

“Guideline South Coast Pty Ltd has been contracting within the Bega Valley Shire Council since October 1988, completing in excess of 200 individual construction and supply contracts. Guideline South Coast Pty Ltd has always completed these contracts within the time frames agreed with each client,” Mr James said.

Council agreed to accept the tender from Guideline South Coast for $102,080, subject to variations, provisional sums and prime cost items.

Council also agreed that the project scope be extended to the rest of the bridge piers “pending future funding approval and contractor agreeance; estimated at $612,480 for the remainder of the works”.

The Bermagui Bridge is extensively damaged, due to salt water and oxygen degradation in the tidal zone of pier columns/piles. This project aims to prolong the life of the Bermagui Bridge through removal of damaged concrete and steel reinforcement with the latest rectification material and also cathodic protection of steel reinforcement. It is a continuation of work previously completed on four columns of the Bermagui Bridge and other bridges in a similar situation around the Bega Valley, council said.