UPDATE: Who bought corflutes where, and why

SIGNS bearing the faces of the people asking for your vote at the council elections are popping up from Raglan to Agnes Water, but not all were printed locally.

A few candidates have gone outside the region for their signage and paid as little as one-third of what those who "shop local" paid.

One candidate, with a reputation for supporting local businesses, spent her money in Bundaberg and has stood by that, saying it is an example of why competitive pricing is the key to winning more work.

>> Read what's being said on Facebook

Three candidates used businesses in Brisbane and Bundaberg to print signs because it cost as low as a third of the price.

Yet Gladstone printers say they make minimal profit on it which begs the question; why does the job cost almost double in Gladstone compared with one town over?

Out of the 24 people running for a spot on Gladstone Regional Council, 18 have ordered their signs through one of three local businesses.

>>OPINION: We rely heavily on the support of locals: Printer

Three haven't ordered any and three used businesses in Brisbane and Bundaberg.

Councillor Karen Porter - the economic development portfolio holder - was quoted $14.95 per sign from a local business compared to the $8.40 she paid in Bundaberg.

Cr Porter, who is funding her own campaign, has defended her decision saying she is a "tight arse" and refuses to pay twice the price for the sake of buying locally.

"I don't waste money. I certainly consider very carefully before spending my money and ratepayers' money," Cr Porter said. "I went to locals first, however chose not to pay almost double for a single use disposable item."

She said the economy meant businesses needed to be more competitive.

However local printing companies, whose lowest price was we found was $13, say their profit is "slim", but the work helps them stay in business.

Ros Westman, owner of HPD creative which printed signs for five candidates, said she had dropped their price as low as they could go "to get work through the door".

Regardless of whether or not it was significantly cheaper, Ms Westman said buying local meant supporting local jobs and businesses that support the community.

"No matter what you're buying you're always going to be able to find somewhere cheaper," Ms Westman said.

"At the end of the day people have to make a decision, will they pay for local jobs with the power of their wallet or send their money out of town?

"If I knew any candidates were shopping out of town I wouldn't be impressed."

Edward Couch scored a deal from a printing firm in Brisbane, also the city of choice for Kahn Goodluck, where he paid $5.50 per sign compared to the $20 Mayor Gail Sellers paid for hers.

Signs are just the start.

In 2012 Matt Burnett spent $10,000 on his campaign; Gail Sellers spent $35,000 and both paid out of their own purses.

What's being said on Facebook:

Liz Featherstone Wow. I will be voting for those that support the local community. All the people who shop out of town, I hope you remember this when your children/grandchildren are looking for jobs. Maybe the businesses in other towns that you have supported can then offer your kids the jobs. Those who buy local should be given first preference for local jobs. I know first hand how hard it is to run a small business and all who claim that they are ripping off the public need to put there money where their mouth is and give it a go. See how long you last.

Effie Robb It's easy to say that local businesses should lower prices however what people don't understand is how can a local business drop prices when we still have to pay high commercial rent and outgoings haven't dropped so therefore unable to just drop prices it's not that simple when overheads are still high so please don't blame small business owners for just doing what they need to cover costs.

Robert Jeffrey Harper Why wouldn't you Gladstone is a rip off the shops around here are going to go broke if they don't drop there prices . That's why people shop in rocky or eBay

Leigh Leigh Welcome to the world of business. Gone are the days when you should rely on foot traffic to survive. Get online, get digital and start servicing other areas. There are highly successful businesses that thrive by serving more than their local community. I'm sick to death of the buy local mantra and this ridiculous mindset that we should pay whatever price local business charges and/or change our shopping habits to suit what they have to offer. It's crap and it's not modern business. If you can't handle the current market conditions then get out of business or start to adapt to how modern commerce takes place.

Naomi Johnson If Gladstone business is overcharging then I don't blame them for going outside!!

Sharon Smith So are they meant to waste more tax payer money buying from local rip off merchants?!?! Damned if they do, damned if they don't. I'd rather hear more information on them & their individual campaigns. But that wouldn't be the trashy news that you are so good at reporting

Dion Charmaine Clark Its disgusting how much they waste on advertising lies only to bullsh*t their way in and all the way out of politics, not everyone but majority. Hate liars

 

Follow this reporter on Twitter @helenspelitis



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