No state control on Ring Road subcontracts
Blind eye on work rates
THE State Government is being kept in the dark about the rates paid to local subcontractors on the Townsville Ring Road project.
Townsville haulage operators complain they are being paid rates far lower than Perthbased Australian Civil Haulage, who they say is the “unnecessary middle man”.
Under the contract struck between the former LNP government and principal contractor Seymour Whyte, subcontractors such as Australian Civil Haulage don’t need approval from the Government to further subcontract work if it is less than $ 50,000.
There is also no requirement for Seymour Whyte and Australian Civil Haulage to disclose to the Government the rates being paid for any of the subcontracts. A spokes- woman for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said approval for subcontracts between Australian Civil Haulage and local trucking companies were not required because of the “size of and scope of this project and lack of quality risk”.
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he would now ask the department to ensure all subcontractors were aware of the process available to settle contractual disputes, but said he wouldn’t be ordering a review into the subcontracts.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said she was urging Mr Bailey to review the project.
“The Newman government put this contract out. Now the Palaszczuk Government needs to go through it and find any anomalies and see what they can do,” Cr Hill said.
Townsville developer and former haulage operator Brad Webb said the Government should have packaged the project into smaller contracts to provide opportunity for locals to tender for work in the first instance.
Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Motti said there was no point having local content requirements if the Government wasn’t ensuring companies follow through on them.
“Companies are developing and presenting tenders to government that meet the local content requirements, but there is no acquittal on the back end to ensure those local content requirements have been delivered,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the department said the tender process for the project complied with the Queensland Charter for Local Content guidelines.
Last Thursday’s frontf page.