August 14, 2020


Western Australia gov't rejects companies' bids to build new fish nursery


The West Australian government has rejected two private companies' tenders to build a new fish nursery in Geraldton, saying they offered no value for money.


After dismissing the bids, the government decided to itself build the A$7-million nursery, a move that earned criticism from one of the unsuccessful tenderers and the local Nationals member of Parliament, ABC reported.


"They (two tenders), in the department's (Department of Fisheries) view, did not represent value for money by a wide, wide margin, so we decided to bring it (project) back in-house," Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley said.


The CEO of one of the two bidders, Patrick Tigges of Billund Aquaculture, expressed his frustration and couldn't believe that their bid was not good value for money.


"We've been supplying recirculation systems into the aquaculture industry for over 30 years, and I believe we are fairly successful", he was quoted as saying. He added that the project could be built for $7 million.


Meanwhile, Nationals MP for Geraldton Ian Blayney said the state government's decision was a cause for alarm.


"It worries me if a government puts out a tender, has the specialists in this field put in their tender, and then the government turns around and says 'no, no your tenders are too high, we'll build it ourselves'", he said in the report.


"This sort of things are highly specialised, which is obvious from the fact that there were only two tenderers, for the government to do that I think they're taking a huge risk. I can be fairly certain it won't be on budget, and it won't be on time".


The Geraldton fish nursery is projected to produce 200,000 juvenile yellowtail kingfish bi-monthly, and aims to supply fish to commercial aquaculture operations in Western Australia.