Trainees big Gorge win­ners

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

LO­CAL tradies ap­pear to be in dan­ger of miss­ing out on the bulk of the work at the only ma­jor con­struc­tion job go­ing in the re­gion.

Not one of the 50 lo­cal com­pa­nies con­tacted by the Gazette in the past month as part of our Sup­port Lo­cal Tradies cam­paign has been awarded a con­tract.

A lo­cal land­scap­ing com­pany is one ex­cep­tion.

Papil­lon Land­scap­ing is un­der­stood to have won the con­tract to train lo­cal in­dige­nous peo­ple and, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the com­mu­nity nurs­ery at Moss­man Gorge, pro­vide 20,000 in­dige­nous plants to the site.

The Gazette un­der­stands this con­tract was awarded well ahead of the main con­tract be­ing awarded to FK Gard­ner and Sons, the Bris­bane-based con­struc­tion man­ager of the pro­ject.

How­ever, five in­dige­nous trainees have been taken on dur­ing the first phase of con­struc­tion at the Moss­man Gorge Gateway precinct.

One con­di­tion of the con­tract is that FKG em­ploy the equiv­a­lent of eight full-time in­dige­nous staff over the life of the pro­ject.

David Lee said he landed his job af­ter mul­ti­ple phone calls to the In­dige­nous Land Cor­po­ra­tion and FKG.

“Af­ter the jobs expo at the Gorge in Novem­ber, I rang and I rang,” he said.

“I fi­nally got an in­ter­view on a Wed­nes­day, and on the Fri­day I heard I’d got the job.”

Mr Lee is en­thu­si­as­tic about the work and said he is look­ing for­ward to the main con­struc­tion phase.

“The weather has slowed us up, but we’re putting in the form­work for the slabs,” he said.

“I’ve worked for lo­cal tradies and this is much bet­ter, stead­ier work.

“I know I’ve got eight hours a day, whereas be­fore it might only be four hours and then we knock off.”

The ILC said 85 per cent of con­tracts for trades and sup­plies on the pro­ject have been awarded to lo­cal Moss­man/Cairns com­pa­nies.

Four­teen con­tracts have been awarded to date, with at least a fur­ther 30 to be awarded as con­struc­tion pro­gresses.

A spokesman for the ILC said: “The ILC op­er­ates within Gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment guide­lines and through its head con­trac­tor FKG, seeks com­pet­i­tive ten­ders and quotes to en­sure the pro­ject rep­re­sents best value for money and comes in on bud­get.

“The usual com­mer­cial tests such as can the sup­plier/con­trac­tor pro­vide the ma­te­rial/ser­vice re­quired and are they cost com­pet­i­tive have been ap­plied to this pro­ject.

“Lo­cal sup­pli­ers and con­trac­tors have al­ready shown they are com­pet­i­tive and have been con­tracted to work on the site.”

Photo by RICHARD KOSER

Good work: David Lee and Damien McLeod

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