Daredevils pumped for track
HOONS on skateboards and BMXs who are looking forward to flying around a world-class pump track in Gladstone will be happy to hear its construction will start soon.
The tender for the $700,000 extreme sports facility will be ratified next week and is likely to go to mountain-bike and pump-track specialists World Trail, which, Mayor Matt Burnett said, was ready to get on with the project.
Although councillors opted to go with the Cairns-based company over local builders Blomfield Excavations, World Trail has signalled it will use local contractors and supplies for 80% of the work.
Breaking this down, councillors heard that World Trail would use local subcontractors and supplies for 73% and 96% of the work, respectively.
This decision may appear to fly in the face of the council's local-preference policy, which is meant to improve the chances of local companies securing work with the council over out-of-town rivals.
And although in the council chambers Cr Burnett appeared to struggle with the decision to vote for a non-local company, he said later the decision showed that the local-preference policy was working.
"It sends a message to people from out of town that if you don't go local, you'll be starting from behind the eight ball,” he said.
"If (World Trail) couldn't demonstrate that they were going to keep things local, then they may not have got the job.
"I would prefer to use the local but it was a bit hard because of the price, local contracts and their experience... (and) I'm not that concerned because the local economy isn't missing out.”
Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor said although Blomfield Excavations did not have previous experience in building pump tracks, "they are completely competent”.
"They may be expensive but at least we know the nature of the beast,” he said.
World Trail proposed it would build the track for $546,699, $90,000 cheaper than Blomfield Excavations.