Figures show bulk of council tenders go to local companies

DID you think Gladstone Regional Council wasn't looking after its own?

Wrong. Figures released this week show 70% of council's tenders worth nearly $9 million have been awarded to local companies this financial year.

And while that percentage is based on the number of tenders, not dollar value, it certainly doesn't mean all the big jobs are leaving the area.

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Benaraby-based company Aestec Services was awarded this financial year's biggest tender, worth nearly $4 million, to upgrade the Agnes Water sewerage pump.

General manager Chris Skerman said winning a tender that size meant his company could keep 200 local people employed.

"It was quite competitive but we always knew it would be," he said.

"We try to stay local. We have invested in the Gladstone region and it's good for our workers to be on local jobs.

"At the end of the day you only get one chance to make a first impression and we put together a good submission."

But that hasn't stopped the naysayers promoting the myth that out-of-towners are winning the bulk of the council's rubbish collection, infrastructure and construction work.

Mayor Gail Sellers said the statistics simply did not support the "constant complaint" that out-of-towners won all council tenders.

"However, I recognise that the stats may not change ingrained perceptions," she said.

This past financial year was proof, she said, that local companies had improved their skills and competitiveness in applying for council tenders.

This financial year 70% of council tenders were awarded to local business - that is up on the previous year where of the council's 142 tenders, only 55% went locally.

Further to that, Cr Sellers said, in 39 of the tenders that were awarded to out-of-town contractors, there was no local competitor.

"When local companies aren't successful we offer feedback," Cr Sellers said.



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