Council turns back on local company
LOCAL businessman Gary Saunders says a Gladstone Regional Council contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
"Council renewed my contract to do their cable locating to find underground services, but when it came time to use it, I was advised they can't use my services anymore," he said.
"I believe the contract has been given to an out of town company. If they are unavailable only then will council contact me to do any work. Basically, I thought this council's contract is worthless.
"I have no idea why they don't want to use my business any more, in spite of years of reliable service."
Council stated that the company named as the preferred supplier had an office in Ambrose and was considered to be a local business during the evaluation process. The company's website claims its head office is in Brisbane with offices nation-wide.
In it's statement, council said there were instances when tenders lodged by a business based outside the region were identified as providing sufficient value to Gladstone ratepayers to warrant the contract going to that business. Council's policy ensures that businesses from outside the region who are successful in applying for council contracts meet targets regarding the number of local workers and amount of local supplies included in the project.
Mr Saunders produced a letter from Mayor Matt Burnett.
"He congratulated me for winning the tender for the next 12 months," he said.
"Then the letter goes on to say council is committed to maximising spend of council's funds and how council would encourage my use of local businesses and community members."
Mr Saunders says this flies in the face of what he thought the council was voted in to do.
"I'm a local, I own a home here and spent the last 20 years building and running a successful business in Gladstone," he said.
"I've got two locals working for me and I use local businesses to service and maintain my vehicles."
He said he wasn't aware of any other Gladstone businesses contracting to the council who were in the same situation.
"But I really don't see the reason behind their decision," he said.