Tradies dispute the council’s ‘local’ rule
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