Work on the $10M redevelopment of Leagues Club Field on the Gosford waterfront is to start in December.
Anticipation of the “world class public space” has been mounting since it was first announced in February by then Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts.
Plans were reinforced in August by new Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, and now Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) has named Landscape Solutions as the construction contractor.
Selected through an open tender process, the contractor will work with HCCDC to deliver the high-quality, inclusive public domain.
But not everyone is happy with the announcement. Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, says awarding the contract to a Sydney based company is “another example of the government giving lip service to regional investment and ignoring local tradies and service providers”. Tesch said the proposed upgrade looked “great” and would have been a “fantastic opportunity” for locals to be involved.
“Unfortunately, as with so many Liberal Government projects, Sydney based companies get the tender and locals get left behind, ” she said.
“We should be using big government tenders to train up local tradies and apprentices so they too can apply in the future and be competitive against Sydney businesses.
“The Central Coast has a huge population of tradies, we have high youth unemployment, and lots of commuters, so really the Liberal Government should be doing more to engage local staff on local projects.
“If money is being spent to build on the Central Coast, then why not celebrate and reward our great local talent by employing locals who will then spend their hard earned money in our local communities? ”
Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, said when government projects are undertaken, an open tender process occurs to ensure the best-credentialed company is chosen.
“It is important that every single dollar of the $10M Leagues Club Field redevelopment is spent wisely, ” Crouch said.
“HCCDC has advised the successful contractor was chosen for being the best fit for the project, with the best experience and with the greatest ability to deliver. “Many locals will be directly employed and also subcontracted throughout the construction phase of this project.
“HCCDC is committed to working with the successful contractor to ensure local employment opportunities are maximised. ”
The redeveloped Leagues Club Field will feature nature inspired play areas, a unique waterway which fills and drains with the tide, and design elements drawn from the history of local Indigenous groups. HCCDC Acting Chief Executive, Valentina Misevska, said she was looking forward to construction getting underway.
“The announcement of the contractor is an exciting step towards delivering significant change in the Gosford landscape, ” Misevska said. “The construction contract was awarded through an open tender process on the government’s eTender website and responses were assessed by a panel of representatives from HCCDC, the landscape designers and Central Coast Council.
“The panel evaluated responses based on each company’s experience in delivering similar projects, their understanding of the requirements and the ability to meet the proposed budget and timeframes.
“Based upon this, Landscape Solutions was considered the best fit for the project. “HCCDC has been liaising with Landscape Solutions and the preference is to work with as many local subcontractors and suppliers as possible to deliver an amazing outcome for the people of the Central Coast and beyond.
“We have worked to understand community desires for the space, and over the project we have partnered with Central Coast Council, the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and our landscape architect, Turf Design and Environmental Partnerships, to create a great design that will attract families back into the Gosford CBD.
“Awarding the construction contract to Landscape Solutions is one of the final steps of planning, and works will soon begin to build a unique, inclusive space for everyone to relax, play and have the opportunity to learn about the Aboriginal history of the region. ”
The park will also feature dozens of new trees and thousands of native plants. Construction is expected to continue throughout 2020. The entire park will be closed during this time, with minor disruption expected.
Sources: Media release, Nov 6 Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation Media release, Nov 8 Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch Central Coast Newspapers, August 22 Media statement, Nov 13 Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch Media statement, Nov 13 Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation