Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson and RTI CEO Russ Matulich with the cable at Maroochydore.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson and RTI CEO Russ Matulich with the cable at Maroochydore.

Council hopes to resolve cable contract dispute quickly

A contractual dispute between Sunshine Coast Council and one of its international broadband network subsea cable partners is hoped to be resolved quickly.

Councillors have been advised by council officers to delegate authority to acting chief executive Warren Bunker at Thursday's August ordinary meeting to "resolve the contractual dispute" in a manner outlined in confidential session in relation to the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network project.

Bullying investigation report may not go public: Mayor

Mayor Mark Jamieson told the Daily on Wednesday council legal officers were working through the dispute with RTI Connectivity.

"I do anticipate it'll be resolved in the near future," Cr Jamieson said.

$35m subsea cable project finishes ahead of schedule

"It's coming before council in the next little while."

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson opens the cable landing station.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson opens the cable landing station.

Cr Jamieson said the matter had been "expertly managed" by council's legal advisers.

"It's a process of negotiation," he said.

He said he was unable to give any information about the nature of the dispute, but said it would be resolved "through negotiations with our partners".

"There's a contractual matter that needs to be resolved, our officers and our legal representatives have been working on it, but that's all I can say," Cr Jamieson said.

The officer's report tabled for Thursday's council meeting showed the total project expenditure at the end of June, 2020, was at $35.17 million.

The project budget was $35 million.

"These things are never an exact science," Cr Jamieson said.

"This is a new area in which we're dealing.

"I'm more than happy with the progress we're making. There are lots of things going on in the world today that weren't anticipated that will have an impact on all projects."

How technology will redefine the region post-pandemic

Cr Jamieson said the contract dispute was unrelated to the exceeded budget.

"We've successfully brought the cable ashore, it's here, it will be an incredibly important enabler for business and industry in the future," Cr Jamieson said.

ASHORE: The subsea broadband cable coming ashore at Beach Access 150 at Melrose Pde, Maroochydore.
ASHORE: The subsea broadband cable coming ashore at Beach Access 150 at Melrose Pde, Maroochydore.

Council had also executed an Assistance Agreement with the State Government for a grant of $15 million towards the project, and the first payment claim of $2.5 million had been received.

Key projects, property market drivers revealed

Claims for the remaining amounts were targeted to be finalised by September 30, 2020, the council officer's report said.

"I think all along we've said that we're on the hook for $20 million," Cr Jamieson said.

"It was a $35 million project, the state put in $15 million, we've put in another $20 million.

"There'll always be ongoing operational costs in terms of our share of it, but that'll be offset by the revenues that come in from the users of it as well."

The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson at the opening of the submarine cable network in Maroochydore. Photo: John McCutcheon
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson at the opening of the submarine cable network in Maroochydore. Photo: John McCutcheon

The council officer's report included a forecast for the project to contribute up to 864 jobs and $453 million in economic value-add for the region.

A council spokesman said the major parts of the project were now complete, and "no additional major expenditures will be incurred".

The spokesman said with the receipt of the State Government grant, the cost to council would be "just over $20 million".

The Daily has attempted to contact RTI Connectivity for comment.


Council throws support behind local jobs

Premium Content Council throws support behind local jobs

THE Western Downs Regional Council is offering a one-stop-shop for employers and...

No new Qld cases as Europe wave soars

Premium Content No new Qld cases as Europe wave soars

Qld records no new COVID cases as Europe’s second wave worsens

Labor accused of giving voters’ private details to unions

Premium Content Labor accused of giving voters’ private details to unions

Personal details of a number of people has allegedly been shared