John Tabart

The big mystery is where Barangaroo Delivery Authority chief executive John Tabart will turn up next. Mr Tabart left the organisation a week ago and his spot is currently being occupied by new recruit Craig van de Laan, while the search gets under way for a replacement.

But in the meantime, Mr Tabart has been keeping his own old spot warm in Melbourne.

He is well known for leading the Melbourne Docklands redevelopment, which managed to shore up widespread criticism.

Yet it seems Melbourne can’t quite seem to get enough of the Tabart touch.

The Age reported earlier this year that the Victorian government has been paying Mr Tabart a staggering $5000 a day to provide some urgent advice to review “two faltering projects: E-Gate, the former railway site in West Melbourne, and the much-hyped eastward extension of Federation Square”.

The contract with the Napthine government was valued at “more than $100,000”. The threshold for competitive tenders is $100,000.

“A government spokesman confirmed standard procedures were bypassed – as allowed under procurement rules – because the government needed ‘urgent’ specialist advice before the budget.”

Not all are so forgiving. RMIT University professor Leon van Schaik told the newspaper that Docklands was ”run-of-the-mill, second-rate modernism” and Swinburne University housing specialist Terry Burke said it should be “blown up”.

The BDA told The Fifth Estate on Thursday that “John Tabart is currently on leave and will be resigning on 24 November 2014”.

An earlier statement on 20 August said that after nearly six years in the role, Mr Tabart told the board the time was right to pass on the baton to a new CEO who would guide the Barangaroo project through to completion.

“John and I indicated to the management team in June that we were considering the best succession planning process and new executive appointments,” BDA chairman Terry Moran said. “John’s decision to take on an advisory role with the authority is the next step in that plan.

“As the inaugural CEO of the authority, John has made an outstanding contribution to the largest urban redevelopment project in NSW and he and his team can take much of the credit for what has been achieved to date.

“He leaves a great legacy and the board thanks him for his hard work, dedication and leadership during his tenure. John’s ongoing involvement as a senior adviser over the next 12 months will be highly valued. ”

Mr Tabart said that he had thoroughly enjoyed his role as CEO and was proud of the work undertaken by the Authority during his tenure.

Temporary replacement Mr van der Laan has “extensive experience in global public companies and has served in a variety of corporate, commercial and operational roles, including a wide experience as a senior executive most recently at Transurban”, the BDA statement said.