FAIR GO: Injune business owners Sue Marks, Tracey Allen, Kay Bowden and Kiran Pasam are urging the Maranoa Regional Council to look at its purchasing policies to give locals a better chance to win contracts.
FAIR GO: Injune business owners Sue Marks, Tracey Allen, Kay Bowden and Kiran Pasam are urging the Maranoa Regional Council to look at its purchasing policies to give locals a better chance to win contracts. Tom Gillespie

Injune businesses call for council contract overhaul

LEADING Injune business owners have banded together to urge the Maranoa Regional Council to re-think its purchasing policy for council contracts.

The push comes after Maranoa Mayor Tyson Golder used a mayoral minute to try to push through oversight measures on job that went to outside companies.

The owners of Injune Haven, Injune Hotel, Best Western, Injune Stay, Jones Welding, Injune Roadhouse, Injune Hardware and Cafe on Second have called on the council to change the local weighting so locals can have a better chance.

“We have to talk about local jobs, because we might be dearer, but all the money stays in town,” Injune Haven owner Kay Bowden said.

Currently one business applies for the tender on behalf of all of them, with each one providing a small portion of the contract’s requirements.

But Ms Bowden said they will not have any chance of competing on price with large companies like FKG, whom they lost a tender to recently for housing roadworkers in Injune for a project.

Instead of staying in town with local businesses, the workers stayed at a camp outside Injune, with all their food brought in.

“There are several businesses that are part of one application, so I might do some beds, the hotel will supply the food, another motel will take on a few other workers, and so on,” she said.

“This is a big concern – there are contracts coming up worth a lot and I can tell you on price we cannot compete.”

Injune Hardware and Cafe on Second owner Tracey Allen said council needed to look at its purchasing policy.

“They’ve changed the way they do things in the last 6–12 months,” she said.

“The definition of ‘local’ needs to be looked at.”

Maranoa Councillor David Schefe said the council was obliged to promote a competitive market and engage suppliers that provide “value for money”.

“Council understands that local spend ultimately determines the vibrancy and prosperity of our regional community; however, as council is spending ratepayer dollars, the factors that it is required to consider, as referenced in the Local Government Act 2009 (QLD and Local Government Regulation 2012) include: value for money; open and effective competition; the development of competitive local business and industry; environmental protection; and ethical behaviour and fair dealing,” he said.

“When evaluating quotes or tender bids, council is obliged to promote a competitive market environment and engage suppliers that provide ‘value for money’.

“This consideration ensures that ratepayer funds are spent in a responsible manner, maximising the service provision of council considering the finite rate income the organisation administers.”