LOCALS ONLY: Proposals for new roadworks should generate jobs on the Southern Downs, say councillors.
LOCALS ONLY: Proposals for new roadworks should generate jobs on the Southern Downs, say councillors.

Southern Downs contractors to benefit from $4M funding

MILLIONS of dollars of state and federal government funding have been granted to the Southern Downs Regional Council to assist in the post-pandemic economic recovery period.

Given the timely demands of the coronavirus crisis, council staff had less than eight business days to develop a list of spending priorities to be submitted for endorsement by councillors and approval by the Queensland COVID Works for Queensland program.

Of the $2.9 million allocated to the Southern Downs, the council seeks to spend $1.7 million on upgrading the Stanthorpe Waste Transfer Station, $435,000 on a group fitness room at WIRAC, $420,000 on Storm King remediation works, $300,000 on construction of a septic receival unit at the Warwick Wastewater Treatment Plant and $100,000 to improve the Warwick pound.

Councillors were told the state government had given the projects the “nod of approval” prior to the June council meeting and they are expected to go to tender shortly, to be completed by public contractors.

The projects are intended to provide a welcome boost to the Southern Downs construction industry so councillor Jo McNally therefore requested a change to the council’s procurement policy.

“It’s a program to stimulate local economies … so how do we ensure that $2.9 million stays local?” she said.

“(We must) ensure we actually use local contractors for that.”

SDRC chief executive officer Jane Stroud said the procurement policy was currently up for review by council staff.

“It contains measures such as the ability to purchase locally and the criteria around value for money,” Ms Stroud said.

“One thing we’ll have to have a really close look at is increasing the percentage for local buying, looking at what is ‘local’, and the nitty gritty of making sure money stays here in the region as part of our COVID recovery strategy.”

The proposed list for $1.5 million of federal funding is targeted towards the improvement of Southern Downs roads and community infrastructure.

The proposed projects, as endorsed during the meeting this morning, are yet to be submitted to the federal government for final approval.

They include the following:

1. Mapes Road Intersection safety improvements – $300,000

2. Railway Street parking – $80,000

3. Railway Street parking bays – $100,000

4. Aerodrome Road – $361,000

5. Seal Link Brunckhorst Av-Wallangarra Road – $200,000

6. Warwick Water Treatment Plant Upgrade – Reservoir – $99,500

7. Pump Station emergency bypass designs – $500,000

8. Warwick Water Treatment Plant – replace aerator plates – $90,000

9. Warwick Water Treatment Plant – chlorine analyser – $25,000

10. Warwick Water Treatment Plant – lagoons refurbishment – $100,000

11. Relining of Allora reservoir – $110,000

12. New Security Fence & Signage – water – $61,500



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