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More failure with the North Weston Pond Project

By johnboy - 26 May 2011 4

The Auditor-General has announced the release of their North Weston Pond Project Report and the results are not glowing for the ACT Government:

The Audit Office found that ACT Government agencies did not effectively manage the North Weston Pond project to ensure the project was completed for the budgeted cost within the planned timeframe. The project has required significant redesign to address escalating costs due to risks that were known at the earliest stages of the project.

Instead of one large pond the project now involves two smaller capacity ponds. The smaller ponds are estimated to cost at least $43.4 million, which is $22.6 million (or 109 percent) more than the originally budgeted amount of $20.8 million. The original planned completion date of May 2011 has not been met.

The location of the North Weston Pond presented significant risks to the project. These risks stemmed from the former uses of the site and existence of the critical Molonglo Valley Interceptor Sewer at the site. ACT Government agencies were aware of these risks from the beginning of the project. However, the growing knowledge and understanding of these risks, including their impact on the project, was not adequately recognised by ACT Government agencies and reflected in project design and cost estimates.

Individual processes associated with the planning, design and construction of the pond were generally appropriate and in accordance with industry practice. However, ACT Government agencies did not effectively combine the information and knowledge generated from each process, to ensure the project was completed for the budgeted cost within the planned timeframe. Specific shortcomings in the management of the project included a failure by ACT Government agencies to:
— apply a robust risk management framework;
— implement appropriate project governance or oversight arrangements to benefit from the combined knowledge and expertise of the different agencies and consultants involved in the project;
— critically assess the feasibility or otherwise of the pond at key points throughout the project, including cost implications of information that was available; and
— critically review the work and advice provided by consultants engaged in the project.

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
More failure with the North Weston Pond Project
dpm 10:23 am 27 May 11

I should clarify that last post. That was for Wright and I believe (from the map) that the other new suburb of Coombs is the one that will be adjacent to the ‘pond(s)’, so maybe it will be even more expensive! Water views are great, even if they are of a (previously) asbestos-riddled pond!
However, this doc:
http://www.molonglovalley.com.au/storage/Q&As_Asbestos%20in%20Molonglo%20Valley_May%202011.pdf
says there is no cause for alarm….
Spend, spend!!

dpm 10:16 am 27 May 11

Chop71 said :

What will these blocks sell for? I bet plenty now considering they would want to cover costs and still make a profit. (and will any of them be bigger than 500m)

Check these links for info from a previous land release there:
http://wright.molonglovalley.com.au/storage/841dbe765b8af9e1961474a4aefd95da.20110308%20Block_Section_prices.pdf

http://wright.molonglovalley.com.au/storage/20893952830e47b20fc681e073763648.10723_WrightBallot_BallotMap.pdf

I see a 988 block and a few 800-700’s, but most are in the 600-400m/sq range. As for pricing, a 540 block would have set you back $389k, while the 988 block had a price of $567k! Then you just need to pop a house on it!
You’ve gotta love how all these new land releases are making housing soooo much more affordable in Canberra! The govt (and then developers) must be laughing all the way to the bank!

Chop71 9:53 am 27 May 11

What will these blocks sell for? I bet plenty now considering they would want to cover costs and still make a profit. (and will any of them be bigger than 500m)

welkin31 9:03 am 27 May 11

I do not suppose the halting of work in November 2010 had anything to do with the heavy rain throughout 2010 – after our Climatemeisters have been yakking for years on about endless Greenhouse drought. Why would you do construction such as that in the winter-spring here ? I have just skimmed through the report – what a welter of overlapping orgs and plethora of politically correct consultants – classic example of how our hard earned taxpayer dollars are squandered.

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