CORAL COVE DRIVE & WOONGARRA SCENIC DRIVE REPAIRS – FLOOD RELIEF ASSESSMENT PROCESS

Like many residents, I’m extremely frustrated by the length of time involved in gaining approvals for flood mitigation works and so I thought that it would be pertinent to provide a list of the general processes that Council has to go through to access funding to repair the numerous roads, bridges and other infrastructure across the region that were damaged as a result of 2010 & 2011 flooding incidents. If Council didn’t go through this process, jump through all the hoops and tick all the boxes, the work would have to be carried out at ratepayer expense.

Bundaberg Regional Council has estimated that damages within our region alone will exceed $60M and it’s understandable that the funding agencies are cautious in ensuring that only legitimate claims receive the cash. Unfortunately though, this means that a rigorous assessment process has to be undertaken which has resulted in extensive delays in getting the jobs completed. Another significant hurdle has been the availability of contractors to physically undertake the work.

The two main sections of roadway that concern me the most within Division 5 and which have been outstanding for over 18 months are:

  • Coral Cove Drive, Coral Cove near the intersection with Jess Place (Administering authority – Dept of Infrastructure & Planning)
  • Woongarra Scenic Drive, Bargara between Rifle Range Road & Moodies Road (Administering authority – Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) – Natural Disaster Relief & Recovery Arrangements – (NDRRA))

In general terms (and up until recently), works such as those above could not be carried out by Council staff but would have to be contracted out through a tendering process to qualify for relief funding. In general, the following process applies to the identification, evaluation, auditing and contracting of the works….

  • Approximately 3,200 infrastructure defects have had to be individually identified.
  • A consultant was procured and engaged to prepare Council’s funding submissions.
  • Every defect had to be photographed, located with gps tracker coordinates and measured.
  • The dimensions were then used to develop a ‘bill of quantities’ and ‘schedule of works’ to rectify the damage. These are costed using standard items and agreed schedules of costs.
  • The schedule of costs for each individual must then be bundled up into submission packages comprising about 100 to 150 defects. These include photos, GPS coordinates together with itemised and costed schedules of work for each defect.
  • Once the package is compiled it’s forwarded to independent auditors who undertake an audit process for each defect. Frequently, there are numerous drawn-out discussions between the auditors and Council officers to clarify issues.
  • Once the auditors are satisflied with the details for each defect, the packages are forwarded to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) for approval.
  • Further checking is then undertaken and queries sent to Council which in turn require further responses.
  • When the QRA is satisfied with the veracity of the submission, they approve the package which often includes amendments.
  • The approved packages (each containing some 100 – 150 defects) are then re-bundled to suit contractors based on their area of expertise, locality, etc so that they can effectively submit their tender.
  • Design work is then undertaken as necessary.
  • Once the designs are completed, the tender process commences and contracts are entered into with the successful submitters.
  • The work is then completed according to the contractors scheduled workload and identified priorities. These are subject to the delaying effects of inclement weather.
  • When the work is completed, it is again photographed, measured and the actual costs calculated.
  • The constructed works are then visited by QRA representatives and accessed.
  • The final claims are then compiled and forwarded to the QRA for payment.
  • These claims are again audited at the end of the process and before payment is made.

In the case of the Coral Cove Drive job, there was an additional delay which occured whilst Council negotiated with the developer to ascertain if an opportunity existed whereby additional adjacent works could be carried out at the same time to make the most of an ‘economy of scale’ situation.

The works have been approved and the tender awarded with work scheduled to commence any day now. It had been hoped that it would begin earlier in June however inclement weather caused delays on a previous job that the contractor had been working on which had a domino effect.

Council is still awaiting for an approval for the Woongarra Scenic Drive job and is monitoring the condition of the road in the interim period.

Hopefully this information will explain why these two jobs are taking so long to address and I’ll provide further updates as information comes to hand.

 

 

 

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