Member for Geraldton questions Department’s ‘on time, on budget’ ability

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
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WA Fisheries minister Peter Tinley and Batavia Coast Marine Institute technical officer Tim Stockbridge feed yellowtail kingfish when Mr Tinley visited the facility in June 2020.
Camera IconWA Fisheries minister Peter Tinley and Batavia Coast Marine Institute technical officer Tim Stockbridge feed yellowtail kingfish when Mr Tinley visited the facility in June 2020. Credit: Geoff Vivian/The Geraldton Guardian

The WA Government is constructing a new finfish nursery at Batavia Coast Maritime Institute itself, after rejecting both tenders it received.

Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney called the decision “extraordinary”.

“They reckoned both responses were too expensive but they thought they could build it themselves quicker and cheaper,” he said.

“They have got a consulting engineer from the Netherlands.”

Mr Blayney said he did not question the engineer’s ability but questioned the department’s ability to finish on time and budget.

Mr Blayney’s comments came after he questioned Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley in Parliament about the decision.

Mr Tinley said neither tenderer was WA-based.

He said tenders were assessed on value for money, suitability of proposed products, experience, compliance, personnel, skills, and Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy.

“A specialist company has been engaged to undertake the design as a sole supplier, with input from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development,” Mr Tinley said.

“Supply and installation of equipment for fit-out will be undertaken through a separate tender process.”

The WA Government announced the $7 million finfish nursery facility last year. It is being built to grow yellow tailed kingfish to a suitable size to be transferred to open sea cages belonging to privately-owned commercial fish farms.

Geraldton family business Indian Ocean Fresh has sea cages in Champion Bay. Tasmanian company Huon Aquaculture is yet to build its proposed fish farm off the coast of Geraldton.

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