Member for Morwell, Russell Northe has today expressed his disbelief and anger at suggestions that WorkSafe a Victorian Government authority has excluded local builders from tendering for a significant project to be undertaken in Traralgon.
Mr Northe said he believed the said project was estimated to be worth between $1 million and $1.5 million and involved the fit-out of office space within the Traralgon CBD.
Mr Northe said that he understood that a contractor from WorkSafe’s preferred contractor list would be selected to complete the works which does not include any local builders.
“To ignore local builders in this process is appalling, as is the fact that a public tender process has not been undertaken to give locals an opportunity to participate in these important works” Mr Northe said.
“This is simply disgraceful and makes an absolute mockery of the notion that “locals” are being supported through Government led projects” Mr Northe said.
How on earth can a State Government authority not even allow local builders to tender for this work and why has it not been advertised publicly?
If this is a supposed fair and just procurement policy, then this same policy needs to be amended urgently to give weighting to the local community in which the works are actually occurring.
We absolutely welcome any Government investment in the region, but to deny locals an opportunity to participate in Government projects in their own community is completely nonsensical.
“I just cannot fathom that in a community that has endured economic downturn, has high unemployment and faces significant employment and economic challenges due to COVID-19 that no local builder has been afforded the opportunity to quote or tender for State Government work in its own backyard” said Mr Northe.
“Given the lack of respect for local businesses in this case, the Victorian Government needs to urgently intervene in addition to providing an explanation as to why this has been allowed to occur” Mr Northe concluded.