Singleton Council unable to award tender for Riverside Park at September meeting

This new family-friendly space will be a fantastic addition to the Singleton Town Centre.

Will Council’s Riverside Park project suffer the same fate as the shambles that was the re-development of the Singleton Regional Livestock Market? Funding to the tune of $6million was secured in 2014 for the saleyard upgrade, plans were drawn up and re-drawn, and a tender was not awarded until three years later in March 2017.

Well, this drawn out process appears destined to repeat itself when it comes to transforming part of the former Sutton Ford site on John Street into a vibrant recreational space. With Council announcing they were unable to award a tender at their September meeting. So they are starting the process all over again, opening on October 10 “with a view to starting construction in the new year”. But this will of course “depend on the awarding of the tender and availability of the successful contractor”. 

Council’s spin doctors are calling this a “minor slide” but after a shortfall in funding was blamed for a lack of progress in January, one has to wonder what the next excuse will be as initial plans for such a development to link the main street to the river surfaced back in December 2013. This was when Council exchanged contracts for the acquisition of 186, 184a and 189-195 John Street to ensure the objectives of the Town Centre Master Plan could be achieved. Council’s Director Corporate and Community, Anthony Egan, said the slight delay in progress was unfortunate, but there was no question over the certainty of the project. 

“Council is committed to delivering the Riverside Park project in the most efficient and cost effective way for the benefit of the community,” he said.  “A further report is anticipated to come back before council by the end of the year following the second tender process, and depending on the outcome and availability of a successful tenderer, construction will start early in the new year.”

“This new family-friendly space will be a fantastic addition to the Singleton Town Centre and the local government area overall, and we’re looking forward to seeing the finished product.”