Laogard Engineering owner Michael Fearns is disappointed in the council for hiring businesses outside of Gladstone for jobs that could have been done by locals.
Laogard Engineering owner Michael Fearns is disappointed in the council for hiring businesses outside of Gladstone for jobs that could have been done by locals.

Businessman's anger after being snubbed for Brisbane company

A BOYNE Island fabrication business owner is frustrated at Gladstone Regional Council for employing a Brisbane business on multiple jobs over local businesses.

Laogard Pty Ltd owner Michael Fearns said he supplied the council with 21 hook lift bins across the waste transfer stations in 2008.

However, Mr Fearns was not contacted to quote on a recent job at Agnes Water.

Although disappointed to have lost out on work, he said he was more frustrated the council hired Brisbane company Toro Waste Equipment instead of a Gladstone business.

 

Laogard Engineering owner Michael Fearns is disappointed in the council for hiring businesses outside of Gladstone for jobs that could have been done by locals.
Laogard Engineering owner Michael Fearns is disappointed in the council for hiring businesses outside of Gladstone for jobs that could have been done by locals.

"It's gross misuse and abuse of ratepayers' funds," he said.

Last year he applied for a similar job at Benaraby, which went to Toro.

Under Freedom of Information he found out his application was rejected due to not being able to complete the job in necessary time frames.

Mr Fearns disputed this, saying the job would have been worth $24,000 to his business and he would have employed someone to complete it on time.

He said the job at Agnes Water was worth $30,000 and four months of work for him.

"Between June and December all I've done is a few bits of structural steel for a builder I work for at Noosa," Mr Fearns said.

"I've done small jobs for Bundaberg, Mount Isa, Eumundi and Murgon."

He said it was "ridiculous" he had to look for work outside of Gladstone while tenders were being given to businesses outside the region.

 

 

Laogard Engineering owner Michael Fearns is disappointed in the council for hiring businesses outside of Gladstone for jobs that could have been done by locals.
Laogard Engineering owner Michael Fearns is disappointed in the council for hiring businesses outside of Gladstone for jobs that could have been done by locals.

Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett said the council's procurement was conducted in accordance with the Local Government Regulation 2012 and the council's policy.

Cr Burnett said Gladstone region businesses received a 10 per cent preference.

"Local business are evaluated competitively with all other suppliers, in regards to technical and commercial criteria to ensure fair, open and effective competition that delivers value to the Gladstone region," he said.

All tenders with a value greater than $200,000 are advertised in the Gladstone Observer and on LG Tenderbox for at least 21 days and details of those awards are published on the council's website.

"Quotation processes (less than $200,000) are also conducted in accordance with the Local Government ­Regulation 2012," Cr Burnett said.

"Businesses who are unsuccessful in a quote or tender process with (the) council, are always invited to request feedback on their submission."



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