With Australia making moves to capitalize on renewable energy sources, new projects involving solar on the Gold Coast and across the country are popping up left and right. Some of them, however, don’t go so smoothly.
One such instance is the Collinsville solar farm project that’s been in dispute since December of 2017, which still hasn’t been resolved, though a potential end to the dispute has been sighted, and is expected sometime in the near future.
The building company in charge of the project, Sydney’s St. Hilliers, recently made a statement regarding the issue, saying that the discussions they held early in January 2018 with the Gold Coast based contracting firm, Pronto Projects.
Pronto Projects stated back in the dispute’s infancy that St. Hilliers owes them approximately AU$2M for the work done for the installation of the piles for the solar panels at the under development Collinsville solar farm, and that, as a result of St. Hilliers not paying, Pronto was unable to pay their subcontractors and suppliers. Meanwhile, St. Hilliers claims that it does not owe Pronto anything, and that they had paid the contractor for the costs.
A spokesperson for St. Hilliers said that the firm recently held discussions with Pronto Projects, and was aiming to conduct further negotiations with the head contractor, France’s Bouygues, in order to reach what the firm calls a ‘satisfactory solution’. The spokesperson said that St. Hilliers would continue negotiations with Pronto and their client in order to come to a proper end to this dispute.
The dispute has had quite the effect on the surrounding area, with Burdekin LNP MP Dale Last saying that he was being swamped by calls for help from companies affected by the dispute, who were still owed thousands upon thousands of dollars due to the project, with some of the companies saying that failure was a real possibility unless the bills were paid.
With the upsurge in solar power leading to new solar on the Gold Coast, the dispute has been carefully watched by the locals, who are hoping that this issue is resolved as soon as possible.