Council splashes $113M amongst Rocky region businesses

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has set a new record with 80 per cent of its money spent on goods and services going to locals.

Of the $141.4 million spent by council over the past 12 months, $113.3 million has been spent within the Rockhampton region.

An additional $4.5 million was spent with businesses in Central Queensland council areas which include the Banana Shire, Central Highlands, Gladstone Regional, Livingstone Shire and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Councils.

Money spent in the rest of Queensland and interstate included bulk supply of water treatment chemicals, Rockhampton Airport security equipment, the road pavement slurry seal program and water and waste water infrastructure supplies, all of which are not available locally.

The spend analysis has been recorded from November 1, 2019 to October 31, 2020.

Acting Mayor Neil Fisher said he was thrilled to announce the continued benefits of council’s longstanding Local Preference Policy.

The policy aims to buy local and support the local economy through local preference weighting in tender considerations.

“It has undoubtedly been a very trying year for many businesses as a result of COVID-19, so these figures, and council’s ongoing commitment to supporting the region’s economy is something we are incredibly proud of,” Cr Fisher said.

“Whenever we as a council need to spend money – whether that be on a large-scale project the likes of building the new art gallery or smaller-scale like upgrading a road or buying stationary or printing supplies – wherever possible, we try and spend it locally.

“We have a policy in place that helps guide our decisions in this space and we have also developed a document to assist local contractors and suppliers do business with council.

“There are of course times when items or services aren’t available locally, but we are always working toward strengthening the local economy wherever possible – and this is our way of putting our money where our mouth is.”

Cr Fisher said along with the 80 per cent of local spend overall, a breakdown of the report revealed sections of council’s spending with almost 100 per cent local buy.

“Over the last 12 months, council spent $21.8 million on the hire of construction plant and equipment, trade services and roadmaking material,” he said.

“Of this total amount, 97 per cent of this has gone to our local businesses, many of which are our valuable small businesses who employ locally and are family operated.

“As well as this, we also spent an additional $4.5m with local council areas surrounding our boundaries, so when we couldn’t spend it within our own area we still aimed to keep the money in Central Queensland.

“Overall, there is a fine balance between value for money, continuous improvement and supporting our local businesses and services, and we are confident we have achieved this.”

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