Tradies dis­pute the coun­cil’s ‘lo­cal’ rule

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

LO­CAL trades­men reg­is­tered as pre­qual­i­fied sup­pli­ers for the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil claim they are be­ing re­jected even though they tick all the boxes.

For the last month the Gazette has in­ter­viewed up to 50 lo­cal trades­men, in­clud­ing those who have left the re­gion.

While some tradies are still get­ting work from coun­cil, many more claim they have been “given the flick” since amal­ga­ma­tion in 2008.

Mead Plas­ter­ing man­ager Ian Mead hasn’t re­ceived a call from the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil since the switch.

“I was on their orig­i­nal reg­is­ter when it was the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil but I haven’t re­ceived calls from the coun­cil for years,” he said.

“I think if there is a coun­cil pro­ject they are all go­ing to the peo­ple they have dealt with be­fore in Cairns.

“So even though I have done some work for the coun­cil there is a good chance they don’t even know who I am.”

The Gazette has spo­ken to sev­eral other lo­cal tradies with sim­i­lar claims who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied.

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil last week is­sued a ten­der in the Gazette invit­ing lo­cal trades­men to be placed on the coun­cil’s reg­is­ter of pre-qual­i­fied sup­pli­ers for sup­ply of trades ser­vices.

Coun­cil’s Dou­glas man­ager Liz Col­lyer said it was a coun­cil pri­or­ity that lo­cal trades­men get work.

“Coun­cil’s fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment sec­tion utilise lo­cal trade providers where and when­ever pos­si­ble,” she said.

“For coun­cil’s fa­cil­i­ties in Dou­glas all work on these fa­cil­i­ties is un­der­taken by lo­cals in the first in­stance, and only if the works are of a na­ture that is of a spe­cial­ity ser­vice that is not avail­able lo­cally will providers out­side the area be con­tacted.”

The Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil is urg­ing lo­cal trades­men to sign onto the reg­is­ter be­fore 2pm Wed­nes­day, March 23.

“The hope and aim is to get good rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Dou­glas to en­able en­gage­ment of qual­i­fied ser­vice and trade providers to meet coun­cil’s needs if and when gen­er­ated for ser­vices in the Dou­glas area that are un­able to be ser­viced by coun­cil em­ploy­ees,” Ms Col­lyer said.

“If lo­cal tradies have any queries about the process they are wel­come to con­tact coun­cil’s pur­chas­ing su­per­vi­sor Geoff Bur­don on 4044 3244.”

Hasn’t re­ceived a call: lo­cal plas­terer Ian Mead

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