WORD FROM THE PUBLIC: Councillors Janelle Stanford, Cameron O’Neil and Puddy Chandler hear submissions at the public meeting.
WORD FROM THE PUBLIC: Councillors Janelle Stanford, Cameron O’Neil and Puddy Chandler hear submissions at the public meeting. Blake Antrobus

Sparks fly between Council, business owners at Injune public meeting

INJUNE business owners are hoping for positive outcomes after a public meeting with Maranoa Regional Council on Tuesday, after ongoing issues with larger businesses beating out locals on pricing.

Injune Haven owner Kay Bowden told the council small business owners like herself would struggle to compete for council contracts with companies like gas giant FKG, referring to an upcoming tender for 40 road workers.

“Under the current policy, it’s 90% price and 10% local; like all small communities in the region, we’re feeling the pinch of the gas industry since it’s downturn. We’re only little people, and 40 workers is huge for us,” she said.

Contracts priced between $15,000 to $200,000 require written quotes from at least 3 persons deemed to meet the council’s requirements at competitive prices.

Mr Sands also criticised the local five-star rating that allowed large businesses to compete with ratings that should otherwise have only been available to locals.

The rating was introduced in 2015 as part of the My Maranoa Business program to encourage competitive local businesses in the region.

“It’s not fairly assessed on costs or locality; we can’t compete against guys who are based out of town but still get the local contracts,” he said.

But councillor David Schefe, who was present at the meeting, defended the system in place.

“Everybody gets treated equally on the five-star ratings. It’s a fair process and we all have to compete,” Cr Schefe said.

They additionally sought to clarify the influence of FKG’s operations within the area, with councillor Janelle Stanford stating they only had one contract in the area.

“We have to be mindful of the tender with regards to this issue. There are no cut and dry answers with these issues,” Cr Stanford said.


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