KNOCKED BACK: Peter Allan has applauded the council's commitment to buying local but says it could improve transparency.
KNOCKED BACK: Peter Allan has applauded the council's commitment to buying local but says it could improve transparency. Troy Jegers

Gympie council's local spending questioned after failed bid

HOW often does Gympie Regional Council buy local?

Action Ford owner Peter Allan was left with this question following a failed bid to win a council fleet car tender, but the council says it has strengthened its commitment to local business.

Mr Allan said he had pitched under QFleet pricing in an attempt to land the contract, to no avail.

With no details forthcoming or publicly available on who snagged the prize and for how much, he was left with questions about the council's commitment to spending locally - especially as it has bought from Sunshine Coast dealership Ken Mills Toyota in the past.

Gympie Action Motors - Peter Allen
Peter Allan with the cars he hoped to sell to Gympie Regional Council. Troy Jegers

And he could not tender to the Fraser or Sunshine Coast councils as they had "buy local” policies.

A Gympie council spokesman confirmed this was true, but the council had not bought from Ken Mills since 2015.

The contract Mr Allan tendered for stayed local, he said. It was awarded to Pacific Gympie for $177,327.

However, as it fell beneath the $200,000 threshold there was no requirement for it to be published on the council's website.

And Gympie dealers were up front in the considerations.

Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

"For vehicles, local suppliers are given a 5per cent weighting in the overall scoring as well as a dollar margin to ensure they do not miss out if the local price is close,” he said,

"Tenderers are advised if they are unsuccessful and are welcome to call the council to receive feedback.

"Local business are given the opportunity to provide quotations or tenders to supply goods and services to council in open and transparent processes.”

GRATEFUL GIFT: Tyler Favier and Brett Mills thank RACQ CareFlight with the gift of a car.

Photo Contributed: RACQ CareFlight
The council says they last bought from ken Mills Toyota in 2015. Contributed

He said the council had also strengthened its commitment to local business in the procurement policy adopted last December.

Mr Allan was pleased the contract had been awarded locally but said there needed to be more information available so local businesses could continue to be competitive.

He also welcomed the council's latest adopted procurement policy but questioned why it took so long given the region's economic problems had been longstanding.

"They should never have been buying products outside the region,” he said.