Council extends project contract for planning for treatment plant

CONSULTANCY business WaterOz will continue to be involved in the planning for the new Oberon Sewage Treatment Plant despite some concerns from councillors about its performance so far.

WaterOz, which describes itself as providing planning and design services, has been paid to provide professional guidance through the start-up and investigation stages for the STP and now into its concept design phase and review of environmental factors.

Oberon Council received almost $5 million in funding from the NSW Government in late 2016 to be put towards the construction of the new STP, which will help accommodate the growth in the town’s west.

A report to council’s most recent ordinary meeting said the arrangement between council and WaterOz had expired in September and the consultancy business had written to council seeking an extension to its work as project manager.

Cr Mark Kellam said he did not think the WaterOz performance had been satisfactory so far, but he thought it was not a good time to "change horse".

He said, however, that council should keep an eye on the works carried out.

Councillors Ian Doney and Andrew McKibbin said they were not impressed with the level of service and presentations so far.

Cr McKibbin questioned the hourly rate of $300 and travel allowance of $400 per trip from Sydney.

After much discussion, a recommendation was carried to endorse the WaterOz proposal to continue with the professional project management services of council's sewerage projects up to September 30, 2019 subject to confirmation of travel costs.

Council will conduct a performance review of the WaterOz work on March 30, 2019 and the director of technical services will implement a performance system for the period of the contract.