Ballarat tenders historical centre

By Paul Hemsley

The City of Ballarat is considering Australian company Nicholson Construction to build and extend the Australian Centre for Democracy.

Local, state and federal governments have funded stage two of the centre’s redevelopment cost at $5.6 million.

If the contract is passed, Nicholson Construction will use the funds to build an open space for community events and performances.

Eureka Project Control Group recommended Nicholson Construction to Ballarat City Councillors, who will vote on the contract on July 13.

Mayor Craig Fletcher said the Ballarat Industry Participation Program (BIPP) was applied to the tender to determine the preferred contractor following the tender interview assessment.

“Nicholsons have advised that 12 local jobs would be created in order to facilitate the project which is obviously in addition to the many existing positions that would benefit from the contract being awarded,” Mr Fletcher said.

The BIPP is a local initiative aiming to raise local business involvement in local projects.

According to Director of Nicholson Construction Richard Nicholson, the company’s involvement with the City of Ballarat has been “very little” until Eureka’s recommendation.

“The centre will hopefully better enable to tell the story of Eureka and what impact that had on the democracy that our country now enjoys,” Mr Nicholson said.

Mr Nicholson said the 12 jobs will be across a “broad range” of all industry fields.

“We expect there will be probably two apprenticeships that will be taken on board, we have our own apprentices with our company and they’ll work on it as well.”

Construction is expected to be finished by July 2012.

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