News

Tocumwal tender a ‘failure’ says chamber

By Daniel Hughes

Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is seeking further clarification after it believes the Berrigan Shire Council ‘‘failed’’ to do right by the community.

Berrigan Shire Council has shortlisted three new tender proposals for the Tocumwal Visitor Centre development, and put them to a public vote alongside the original plans for which it received two quotes.

Council has set the project cost at $1.6 million, but has indicated it would consider a suitable design up to $1.8 million.

Chamber president Sergio Redegalli has since voiced his concerns to local members, hoping it will lead to council being open regarding its decisions to exclude certain tender proposals.

‘‘We’re putting complaints forward with New South Wales Senator Perin Davey and Member for Murray Helen Dalton,’’ he said.

‘‘We query why the plans for Tove Design got knocked off the board.

‘‘There’s a complete lack of transparency, council are not doing right but our community.’’

General manager Rowan Perkins said council had to consider its guidelines when putting forward its tenders for polling.

‘‘Out of all the tenders we had submitted, we turned one away because it was non-compliant based on funding issues,’’ he said.

‘‘The proposal we rejected was also submitted with no electrical data, no insulation plans, no exhaust canopies, we were getting a shell rather than a complete design construct.

‘‘We couldn’t put it through to the polling phase because if we did and it was chosen, we wouldn’t be able to follow through on it because of funding.’’

The tenders that were out for review had to consider the Visitor Information Centre on the ground floor.

The creation of two hospitality businesses was also in the concepts, including a fine dining restaurant on the top floor.

One other space will be set aside in the design for a retail store.

Voting on the concept designs closed yesterday and the results will be considered at the council meeting on Wednesday, July 15.

Mr Redegalli believes the council’s shortfalls do not stop at its decision on the tenders but also with the neglect of promoting its town’s VIC, for which the chamber has now found a new permanent location.

Mr Perkins said plans will have to be reconsidered at the July meeting because of the new VIC location.

‘‘The designs will quite likely have to change, whether a new commercial building is included instead of the VIC or whether the commercial space on that level consumes the proposed VIC area, we aren’t too sure yet.’’