Fishos Club site's fate ends up in limbo

AFTER spending eight months and $19,000 calling for tenders interested in operating out of the former Brighton-Le-Sands Fishos Club site, Rockdale councillors have voted to reject every application.

Councillors voted 8-1 earlier this month to reject the tenders after six councillors excluded themselves from the vote because they knew the accountant of the preferred tenderer.

Of those who remained in the chamber Liberal councillors Paul Sedrak, Lydia Sedrak, Peter Poulos, Nick Mickovski and Petros Kalligas, with Labor's Tarek Ibrahim and Independents Liz Barlow and Michael Nagi voted to reject the tenders.

Only Labor's Joe Awada voted against that group. A council spokesman said $19,000 was spent on administration, printing and advertising for the tender process.

The applicants were the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW Ltd, YMCA of Sydney, Muscle and Fitness Pty Ltd, Defence Support and Reform Group of the Department of Defence, Laced Investment Group Pty Ltd, Hardcore Gym Pty Ltd, St George Football Club Ltd, Muddy Creek Boating & Fishing, Rockdale City Community Club Ltd and Three Olives Pty Ltd. Six of the businesses were short-listed and asked to submit a full tender.

The Bestic Street club closed in February last year when lender Carrington National claimed loan payments had not been met. Rockdale Council seized control of the site in March 2012, claiming the lender could not guarantee back and ongoing rental payments to the council.

Cr Kalligas said he and fellow Liberal councillors voted to reject all the tenders "due to flaws in key aspects of the concept and the need for more community engagement".

A Rockdale Council spokesman said community consultation would take place after the council had decided on a preferred tender.

Councillors resolved to explore options for temporary use of the site.

A working group including councillors Kalligas, Poulos, Nagi, Ibrahim and Paul Sedrak will examine "innovative models and opportunities" involving community groups.

Rockdale mayor Shane O'Brien did not vote on the tender and was disappointed to learn none was accepted.

At the time of the tender call last October Rockdale Council general manager Meredith Wallace said it marked a fresh start for the site.

Should Rockdale Council have rejected all the tenders for the Fishos site?