‘Money leaving Gladstone’: Call to buy out of town stuns
THE Boyne Tannum HookUp's decision to work directly with boating manufacturers is an affront to local business says Curtis Coast Marine owner Darren Brown.
On Monday the HookUp management committee issued a media release outlining changes to how boat packages are procured for the event.
HookUp went to market in July to seek bids for the prize boat packages, seeking proposals directly from manufacturers and respective local dealerships.
One of those local dealerships, Curtis Coast Marine, has been supplying boats to the HookUp for the past six years.
HookUp was seeking tenders for a three-year sponsorship agreement after existing three-year contracts expired.
On September 26, HookUp and Curtis Coast Marine came to that agreement, which would have seen the Hanson Rd business supply nine boats and one WaveRunner (jet ski) as prizes for the 2020 event.
However, that deal went unsigned and fell through on Friday.
"We were asked to submit an offer for the next three years which we did - running by the same formula - and won that award," Mr Brown said.
"We were told if we didn't have the contract completed by Friday (October 18) we were out and that (HookUp) was moving on.
"I emailed that contract on Friday … on Monday afternoon I got an email saying our agreement was terminated and they are buying boat packages from out of town."
Mr Brown said his "gripe" wasn't a personal one against the HookUp or its committee members.
"It's a community-based event. It's for the community and local business is a part of the community," he said.
"All these local sponsors put money in to pay for the prizes and the running of the event but that money is now leaving Gladstone and I don't think that's fair."
Mr Brown said the HookUp's approach wasn't using the 'Buy Local' mantra - a campaign instigated by Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2013.
HookUp vice-president Andrew Davis said the agreement fell through due to extra conditions Mr Brown was seeking.
"HookUp went out to the marketplace to competitively bid for the boat packages the event purchases to give away as prizes," Mr Davis said.
"Curtis Coast Marine submitted their conforming bid and HookUp provided them with the sponsorship agreement.
"However, Curtis Coast Marine chose to include additional conditions that HookUp could not agree to.
"Those conditions would have hindered Gladstone's only other boat dealership and other businesses' ability to leverage from the event.
"HookUp are endeavouring to negotiate with the manufacturers to provide hulls, outboards and electronics across all local businesses instead of just one."
Mr Davis went on to say the issue wasn't about a "disappointed marine business owner" or the HookUp committee.
"This is about the thousands of volunteers over the nearly 25 years of creating Australia's largest family fishing competition for the Gladstone community, the region and further afield," he said.