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Legal fight continues over design fees for South Australian State Aquatic Centre

Legal fight continues over design fees for South Australian State Aquatic Centre
March 27, 2014

After more than a year of dispute, the ongoing legal battle between Melbourne-based architects Peddle Thorp and the South Australian Government over non-payment of $500,000 in design fees for work on the South Australian State Aquatic Centre remains unresolved.

With lawyers for Peddle Thorp lodging a statement of claim in the South Australian Supreme Court in December 2013, the matter is set for a hearing in the near future.

Having provided the master plan and also completing all the detail work for the $100 million facility in association with Woodhead Architects, Peddle Thorp remains unpaid for the work after the collapse of building firm Candetti Constructions at the end of 2011.

However, Peddle Thorp Design Director Peter Brook told Australasian Leisure Management that he repeatedly advised the South Australian Government against using Candetti because of the company's lack of expertise and resources for such a project.

Brook stated "we repeatedly told the (South Australian) Government that we were not being paid by the builder, and we were repeatedly assured that all would be well when the Centre was completed.

"Now the Government is hiding saying that it has paid the builder, but they were fully aware and were informed that the statutory claims by the builder stating that we had been paid were false. Despite this information they paid the builder in full."

Brook advises that South Australian Government officials "made assurances" that they rectify the financial situation. The architects consequently worked to complete the project under the belief that they would be paid.

He added "this is not only a considerable sum but is a matter of morality.

"When Australian governments and institutions make assurances they should abide by them."

Brook concluded "South Australian now has a magnificent aquatic facility but has failed to pay the people who actually did the work."

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