Road con­tract a good deal for state, but not for sub­con­trac­tors

Ten­der tough on lo­cals

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

THE Queens­land Gov­ern­ment used a ten­der process on the $ 200 mil­lion Townsville Ring Rd pro­ject which re­stricted its ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and its con­trol over sub­con­tracts, when com­pared with other op­tions.

Lo­cal haulage op­er­a­tors have com­plained they were shut out of the process and be­ing given work for rates much lower than the prin­ci­pal con­trac­tor af­ter pass­ing through a num­ber “mid­dle men”.

As re­vealed by the Bul­letin yesterday, prin­ci­pal con­trac­tor Seymour White is pay­ing Bris­bane- based Aus­tralian Pre­mium Haulage nearly $ 3 per tonne in haulage rates for the pro­ject, be­fore the work is sub­con­tracted to lo­cal busi­nesses for as lit­tle as $ 1.80 per tonne.

The pre­vi­ous LNP Gov­ern­ment de­cided to go ahead with a price ten­der, in­stead of an al­liance ten­der, which meant it had less con­trol over the pro­ject.

Un­der an al­liance ten­der – regularly used by gov­ern­ments on big projects – the gov­ern­ment works more col­lab­o­ra­tively with pri­vate com­pa­nies to de­liver the pro­ject.

How­ever, a Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads spokesman said un­der the Ring Road pro­ject, the Prin­ci­pal Con­trac­tor must seek ap­proval to sub­con­tract from the Con­tract Ad­min­is­tra­tor.

When asked com­plaints yesterday, Main Roads Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley said the ten­der process was suc­cess­ful be­cause more than 80 per cent of staff, ma­te­ri­als and prod­uct be­ing used on the pro­ject were sourced from the Townsville re­gion.

“There’s al­ways some dis­ap­point­ment when it comes to peo­ple get­ting con­tracts and sub­con­tracts and com­pet­i­tive­ness. I think that’s a nor­mal part of the process and I think that’s what we’re see­ing here,” he said.

“Im­por­tantly what we’re see­ing is good value for money in terms of the tax­payer com­mit­ment.

“We’ve got to make sure is we’re spend­ing tax­payer dol­lars re­spon­si­bly.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the gov­ern­ment needed to en­sure lo­cal con­trac­tors weren’t be­ing paid un­nec­es­sar­ily low haulage rates.

The TMR spokesman said based on the scope of the Ring Road works, the Road Con­struc­tion Con­tract was deemed the most suit­able type of con­tract by the de­par­ment.

“Cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions also favour that con­tract­ing model and sup­ports value for money out­comes for taxpayers,” he said.

Yesterday’s front- page re­port on the Ring Rd row.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.