Endeavour supervisor Gary Brose with chair of planning and environment Cr Neil Meiklejohn and Matthew Collins, who has won the tender to build the Wallangarra waste transfer station.
Endeavour supervisor Gary Brose with chair of planning and environment Cr Neil Meiklejohn and Matthew Collins, who has won the tender to build the Wallangarra waste transfer station. Emma Channon

Council spends budget buying local

MORE than $24 million – or 80% – of Southern Downs Regional Council’s expenditure was spent with Warwick businesses last financial year.

Wanting to lead by example when it comes to shopping locally, an SDRC spokeswoman said council spent its money at local businesses wherever possible.

She said about 60% of all spending went to locally run and operated businesses.

“Another 20% is spent on local business arms, so businesses are based in Warwick but have head offices elsewhere,” she said.

“In the last 12 months our purchasing amounted to about $30 million.”

Matthew Collins’ MBC Constructions has the tender to build the new Wallangarra Waste Facility, as well as the tender for an upgraded animal pound in Warwick.

One of the largest parts of SDRC’s expenditure – about $1.76 million – goes towards purchasing sand and gravel products for roadworks, which the spokeswoman said was “nearly all purchased locally”.

“Where it cannot be sourced locally we use suppliers from Toowoomba,” the spokeswoman said.

“Items such as pre-mix and emulsion are not produced locally and have to be sourced outside.”

Council puts out tenders for all large items and projects, and chooses the item or company for the job based on a number of factors under their procurement policy.

Part of the policy includes value for money, efficiency, competitiveness and reputation.

Of the 103 tenders advertised throughout the year, 81 of those went to Southern Downs companies.

Vehicles in the same period were bought from six local dealers.

While the spokeswoman was reluctant to drop too many business names on the receiving end, she said council had purchased two from Graeme Collins Automotive this past financial year, with another on order.

The spokeswoman said items that cannot be purchased locally include heavy machinery and payments for utility or State Government services such as audit fees and insurance.

“We service all vehicles locally and buy all legal services locally though, and all our graphic design, printing and plumbing services are done by local operators,” she said.

“We put a lot back into the local community through those purchases and employment.”



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