Buy local is the message to council and community from chamber chief Peter Fraser.
Buy local is the message to council and community from chamber chief Peter Fraser. Tamara Mackenzie Roktkeast

Buy local to save region’s economy

IN CONJUNCTION with a "buy local" campaign, Rockhampton Chamber of Commerce president Peter Fraser is hoping for an adjustment of the tender criteria the region's councils use when awarding contracts.

He wants to see a shift so that councils have to justify why an external provider is chosen over a local one.

He praised the steps that both Rockhampton and Livingstone had already taken, but said more could be done to further support local businesses because "desperate times call for desperate measures".

"We need to keep money and jobs in the local economy and clearly the local councils of both Livingstone and Rockhampton, with their large budgets and their procurement and tendering programs, need to step up and clearly demonstrate their support," he said.

"There will be times when there are specialised things we just can't provide here in Rockhampton.

"Having said that… we want to keep as much as we can in Rocky."

Mr Fraser (pictured) believes local ratepayers would not mind council spending more money if they knew that money was going back into the local community.

He also wants to see the rest of the community shopping at local businesses to inject money back into the local economy, which he hopes to achieve with a "buy local" education campaign.

He called for some solid pledges from council and council candidates in support of local businesses in the lead-up to the local government election.

Currently Rockhampton council has a 12% local weighting in its tender criteria, which was moved up from 5% last year.

Livingstone council also engages in a buy local program in its preferred supplier program, but Mr Fraser said a review of current processes was required.



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