It was a sunny day in April 2015 when the world’s biggest plumbing company announced its plans to build a massive new building in Australia’s northern suburbs.
The sprawling structure, a $1.3 billion (about $1 billion) scheme called Radco Residential, would be the largest plumbing installation in Australia.
At the time, the project had the potential to become one of the largest in the world, according to the International Association of Building Officials.
In fact, the company had already completed one project in Australia and planned to build another by 2020.
The plan, however, came with a price tag of $1,600,000 (about €1,900,000), according to a spokesperson for the company.
But Radco did not have to pay the bill.
In 2015, the NSW government announced that the company would have to fork out $1 million to the state government for “deferred maintenance”.
“The deferred maintenance costs of Radco are paid by the state, the Commonwealth and the NSW Government and the deferred maintenance is calculated at a fixed rate per annum, subject to adjustment annually,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
In addition to the deferred upkeep costs, the spokesperson noted that Radco’s total costs “would include costs associated with remediation and the associated environmental remediation.”
After the NSW decision, Radco was forced to pay $4.5 million (about £3.7 million) to the State Government.
The spokesperson also confirmed that Radcos deferred maintenance cost of $7 million (around £5.5) was paid by Radco, which had to reimburse the state.
Radco told Polygon that its construction in Australia was a result of its global footprint, which “has the potential for increased value for the Australian public, businesses and governments.”
“The development of Radcco Residential in Sydney is an excellent example of how a sustainable and green building can deliver significant value to the Australian community and local economy,” the company said.
“We believe that RadCo Residential will bring substantial benefits to the community and our communities.”
The company said the project would be built in conjunction with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Department of Environment and Heritage (DoE), and the Australian Government.
“Radco Residential is an example of our long-term vision to build the world-leading residential plumbing system in Australia,” the ABCC said in its statement.
“As a result, the ABCL has agreed to undertake a detailed environmental assessment, and we expect the project will proceed as planned.”
In the statement, the government said it had committed to ensuring that the ABCT would be able to continue to “implement a range of remediation measures that the State has identified in order to comply with the obligations under the Environmental Protection Act.”
The ABCC told Polygons story that RadCos deferred upkeep cost was due to a “large number of items” and that Radcos deferred maintenance plan had to be adjusted annually.
The ABC said it is working with Radco to find a resolution for the deferred costs, but said that it is not able to confirm the exact figure.
The company told Polygat it is committed to the ABCP and the ABC’s environmental management processes, and said it was not aware of any additional costs related to deferred maintenance that would be incurred by Radcans customers.
The spokeswoman for the ABC said that “the ABC is committed fully to protecting the environment, but it cannot comment on individual projects.”
Radcoes deferred maintenance did not appear to be an issue in the construction of the project, however.
A spokesperson for Radco said the company “does not comment on the specifics of ongoing projects, but as a company that has a global footprint and has invested millions of dollars to provide a highly efficient and sustainable residential plumbing service for many Australian communities and communities throughout the world,” the statement said.
The statement said that RadCO Residential was one of “several” projects being built by the ABC in Australia, and that it “is fully committed to meeting the obligations set out in the Environmental Assessment Act.”
“This project is being undertaken by RadCO, an Australian Company,” the spokesman said.