Central Highlands council is keeping it local
CENTRAL Highlands' businesses are set to reap the benefits of changes to local purchasing arrangements by the Central Highlands Regional Council.
Speaking at the Investing in our Future conference recently in Emerald, the council's CEO Scott Mason said the "big news” was that the council was embedding, where it could, local contractors and suppliers into large contracts to keep "dollars local”.
"All tenderers for contracts greater than $200,000 must give a commitment to spend 20% of their tender price in the local region and must explain how that is going to be achieved,” Mr Mason said.
"We are using geography to inform our purchasing decisions and, as far as we know, we are the first Queensland council to do so.
"In essence, it means that if your business is registered in the locality where the work is and you use local personnel, goods and services then you're in the most advantageous position to win the work.”
Mr Mason said they had no option except to go down this path because, in a region the size of theirs, it was unfair to think everyone could compete for every job and every contract.
"The councillors are demonstrating real leadership here by amending the local preference policy and really examining where we spend locally and they're excited by the decision.”
"Two-thirds of our $20million spend so far this year has been local and more than 60% of our purchase orders are less than $100,000, which means more opportunities for local business,” he said.
"The council is lucky to have the fiscal flexibility to support the local business.”