Breaking News- Will the new King's Square admin building break the bank?

Union Organiser: King's Square Admin Building is "a shit building."

The new King's Square administration building is nearing completion. Delays have meant that more fees now have to be paid to Sirona, who are already receiving millions of dollars in fees to manage the project, and spend ratepayers' money on a project that ratepayers dont want.

Will it be a good building? Will its looks enhance the centre of town? Or, will it be a financial disaster like previous council projects namely Queensgate, and before that Westgate? Will "Kingsgate" be the new burden ratepayers have to bear for years to come as warned by the Fremantle Society 10 years ago?

A senior union figure has described the new Pindan construction as "a shit building." He said a number of problems make it a dud.

The CMFEU union were so concerned with construction issues they lodged a complaint with Worksafe, alleging "serious breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984", noting: 

"that the structural steel forming the canopy on the project had shown significant sagging and that a lot of the bolts didn’t line up with the intended mounting bolt holes as per the engineered design. Pindan’s solution was to weld the structure. 

Initially Pindan denied any such knowledge of these issues however later admitted bringing in a mobile crane to lift the sagging canopy structure into its intended position. 

The steel was manufactured and fabricated in Vietnam and imported into Australia which raises concerns over poor quality welding and cambers in the steel because of the overseas fabrication process."

Why is a "sustainable" council using Vietnamese steel instead of Australian? 

Why is it that Worksafe wont make public the results of their investigations?

We don't want "a shit building." We want something worth the $50 million being spent on it.

The Fremantle Society has been meeting with senior union figures, because unions are pleasingly passionate, like the Fremantle Society,  about heritage, and because the unions share other common passions -  such as keeping the port in Fremantle.

The council's failure to attract tenants into their speculative commercial spaces in the admin building has led Cr Fitzhardinge, (the mayoral candidate leading the charge to change the name of KIng's Square), to declare that the vacant space could be used as "an exhibition space"-  the very idea put to council last year by the Fremantle Society and laughed at.

Of course the previous building on this site, opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1966 was actually named The Exhibition Building. The difference is that back then, history mattered, and the builder won awards for his work. But today, Pindan is struggling to rise above third tier status as a builder, and recently were successfully sued by apartment owners at South Beach, and had to hand over $1.3 million to rectify building faults there.

Which councillors are actually asking the tough questions about our "shit building"?

John Dowson
The Fremantle Society
0409 2236 22

photographs courtesy CMFEU

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