Fears held for future car park
By PETER CATON
RISING costs which could throw into doubt a new multi-storey car park and upgraded swimming complex for Murwillumbah have been blamed on Tweed Shire Council's administrators.
Business people in the town were yesterday steeling themselves for news the council may not be able to afford the project after revelations the costs have blown out by $3 million to more than $10 million.
Murwillumbah and District Chamber of Commerce president Phil Youngblutt said it now seemed doubtful the car park, desperately needed to overcome parking shortages in the heart of the town, would be built.
Estimated to cost just under $2 million last December, the car park is now expected to set the Tweed council back more than $2.6 million, but construction costs are continuing to escalate.
An upgraded pool complex priced at $3.7 million in December is now estimated to cost $6.6 million.
An alternative is spending $1.5 million in maintenance on the existing complex over the next five years.
Mr Youngblutt said the decision by the council's three administrators to shelve the planned works shortly after they took control in May had added to the costs.
"Because it has continuously been put back, we are pricing ourselves out of a car park," he said.
"There should be a commitment now from the administrators that they are going fund these facilities."
Mr Youngblutt said given the cost he doubted the multi-storey car park, planned for the parking area next to the pool complex and behind the Murwillumbah branch of the Commonwealth Bank, would proceed.
"It's just another instance of the administrators ballsing it up," he said.
"It's becoming more and more obvious there are mistakes being made and bad mistakes made.
"They will walk away with money in their pockets and the people of the Tweed will be suffer."
The administrators are due to consider the rising costs at a meeting today.