Mayor doubtful $3.5 million blowout is council’s fault

The Lavington Sportsground redevelopment is running behind schedule and over budget after unsuitable soil base was discovered at the site.
The Lavington Sportsground redevelopment is running behind schedule and over budget after unsuitable soil base was discovered at the site.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack believes it’s doubtful council is responsible for the $3.5 million blowout of the Lavington Sportsground redevelopment, saying council employees haven’t done any work at the site. 

Cr Mack questioned the ability of external contractors who undertook geo-technical surveys of the land, saying the issue should have been picked up earlier. 

“Look over the back of me there’s a lagoon, if you fill that with dirt and can’t find that water well what does that say about your ability to find the right things under the ground,” he said.

“We don’t know (who’s at fault) potentially there’s contractors on site up there potentially they need to determine what the outcome will be.

“We’ll be doing that through legal avenues.

“We haven’t done any work up there – need I say whose fault it is.”

Council previously announced a large amount of unsuitable soil base was found at the site, with rehabilitation initially suspected to cost $2 million. 

That figure has now risen to $3.5 million, on top of the initial $2 million allocated for the stage one development.

Cr Mack said council would be holding whoever was responsible accountable, and he was hopeful ratepayers would not have to pay for the blowout.

“We will bring people to account on this particular issue and if it’s a council issue, which I doubt that it is, then we will put our hand up,” he said.

“But this is not council budgeting for something and it being an overspend this is something that should have been found in the first place.”

Cr Mack said a brief would be presented at March’s council meeting. 

The full project’s budget was allocated as $9 million.