Bundaberg owner drivers ‘lose out’

NO WORK: Gary Trimble feels local business owners are losing out to government contractors.
NO WORK: Gary Trimble feels local business owners are losing out to government contractors. Craig Warhurst

"THIS council gets up there and says 'we're looking after local businesses'.

"That's bulls***."

Gary Trimble is sick and tired. The Bundaberg tip-truck owner is sick of being on the dole and tired of missing out on contracts that he feels should go to local owner-drivers rather than government departments and what he says are "cheap and nasty" contractors.

The Monduran Rd contract, which includes the replacement of the Monduran Bridge and other road improvements, stung Mr Trimble and owner-drivers across the region, who banded together to bid for the tender.

"For the last 18 months, I've been sitting on the dole. This Monduran job is 9 months' work," he said.

"There were seven companies that put in for tender. It went to RoadTek.

"All of us local businesses the council (says it is) looking after are up against the Queensland Government."

Mr Trimble said the council had abandoned local businesses in its attempt to alleviate a debt of more than $60 million.

But Mayor Jack Dempsey said the RoadTek contract would support local jobs, and the use of a local workforce and subcontractors played a major role in assessing the seven tenders received for the construction project.

"Council was very pleased to be able to award the contract to RoadTek, which is a state-wide organisation specialising in this field of construction," Cr Dempsey said.

"One of the deciding factors in these deliberations was the fact that RoadTek operates its Wide Bay centre from Bundaberg, employing 85 permanent staff.

"As part of the tender submission RoadTek also outlined 70 per cent of the value of the contract would be spent locally, with only certain materials such as culvert units unavailable for purchase within the region."

Mr Trimble had a meeting with councillor Peter Heuser this week and said he was happy with the way Cr Heuser responded to his concerns.

Topics:  bunaberg council employment owner driver truck

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