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State defence project overdue and over budget

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A $2 million State Government project to expand DefenceSA’s Techport Common User Facility (CUF) is $1 million over budget and one year late.

The project was announced in the 2012-13 State Budget on 31 May 2012.

In a media release at the time, Premier Jay Weatherill said the project showed the state was “serious about defence”.

“Premier Jay Weatherill said the money was allocated to ensure the state captured emerging naval shipbuilding opportunities and provided flexible access for companies, contractors and subcontractors,” the 2012 statement said.

“The funding will go towards the expansion of the hub’s Common User Facility which is scheduled to commence in late 2012 and conclude in mid 2013.

“The South Australian Government is serious about defence; it is a critical industry for this state and forms the foundation of our advanced manufacturing future which is a key priority.”

Tender documents show, however, the contract was awarded to construction company Bardavcol in November 2013 with a scheduled completion date of March 2014 – a year after the proposed completion.

Defence Industries Minister Jack Snelling referred InDaily’s inquiries to government agency DefenceSA which confirmed the details.

“I confirm that the civil works contract with Bardavcol Works relates to two capital investment projects: the CUF Expansion Project and CUF Construction Project,” a spokeswoman said.

“The CUF Expansion Project (now $3 million) will provide services to the expansion land (across Mersey Road), including power, water, sewer, communications, stormwater and fencing.

“There is no secured user/tenant.  The investment is aimed at preparing the site to development-ready status, to support Defence SA’s efforts to attract additional third party users to the site.”

Techport Australia at Osborne is home to the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer project and the multibillion dollar Collins Class submarine sustainment contract, and the confirmed consolidation site for the Future Submarine Project.

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