Sail, socalise and dine in the heart of Darwin
After a few unanticipated delays the upgrade program of the DSC Clubhouse toilets is now back on track and progressing well.
That said, and in the interest of keeping members informed, I felt it appropriate to address 2 key reasons for these delays. While the timing of the grant being offered and then awarded was beyond our control, these works are clearly impacting the amenity the Club is able to afford members and visitors. This is understandably causing some frustration and inconvenience at all levels within the Club as the expected finishing date has now had to be moved back from mid July, until mid August.
Issue 1. Asbestos Removal - During the initial demolition phase of the project, the unanticipated discovery of asbestos in some materials which were removed caused all works to cease. While the Club has had an Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Policy in place since late 2014, the materials discovered were not listed in our register and hence not handled by the contractors in accordance with our policy. A concerned party, albeit an anonymous one, chose not to raise their concerns with the Club, nor the contractor directly, but instead to alert NT WorkSafe who attended the Club and ceased all works to allow them investigate. While the contractors had planned asbestos removal in the program for some materials, the discovery of these unlisted materials meant a change in these plans, several subsequent visits by contractors, a supervised removal of all materials and a final re-inspection of the site by NT Safety Inspectors in order to gain approval to continue. Approximately 10 days were lost due to a knock on effect of having to reschedule available trades to continue work. Importantly, there was no breach issued against the Club nor the Contractor by the inspectors, as both parties had acted in accordance with the legislation and the Club's documented policy. The asbestos discovered was classified as low-medium risk. A subsequent inquiry however is being followed up with the licensed asbestos agents who created the register for the Club in the first instance to understand why these materials were not included within the register initially.
Issue 2 - Specification Changes. This time however was not lost entirely. The fast acting House Committee seized this opportunity to revisit the detail of specifications of the project. This was done to ensure the Club takes this all too rare opportunity to not only replace the facilities but to upgrade them, most especially the ladies restrooms, an area which has been earmarked for attention for several years now. The very high demand for this grant funding forced the government to bring the closing date of proposals forward by a full 8 weeks to manage the demand. That in turn meant that those involved in putting the Club's proposal together had little opportunity to develop any kind of stylistic brief for the builders to quote against in the grant application. Some quick action and inspired choices have resulted in what will no doubt represent a dramatic improvement over the original facilities, with only a modest increase in the overall project cost. Unfortunately however, changes to the original specification meant local Darwin suppliers did not have some of the items in stock. Specifically, new toilets and basins had to be brought in from interstate.
While these units took some 2 weeks to arrive, they have now arrived and will be fitted in the coming days, rendering the first phase of the project very near to completion. As the image attached shows, tiling, electrical and cabinetry are now complete, the bench tops and plumbing elements of the job are all that is required before the finishing touches can be applied and the Lounge toilets re-opened. With any luck these new toilets should be operational very soon allowing focus to shift to the toilets between the bistro and the bar and then finally, works to commence in the Tom Strickland Room (the Club's former gaming lounge).
Finally, on behalf of the Management Committee, I offer an apology for the ongoing inconvenience these works are causing. The patience of all is sincerely appreciated and with any luck the result will be worth the wait.
John Melenewycz - General Manager
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