DOWN AT THE DUMP: Warren Robinson emptying his trailer at the Bonnick Rd green waste dump in Gympie.
DOWN AT THE DUMP: Warren Robinson emptying his trailer at the Bonnick Rd green waste dump in Gympie. Renee Albrecht

Gympie dumps: Endeavour makes effort, Red Cross bleeds

GYMPIE region's multi-million-dollar waste management operation contract will be taken over by a new contractor next week, but there is still no final word on the fate of existing employees.

The previous contractor, Australian Red Cross, has pulled out of the five-year contract it won in 2015, citing "a strategic change in direction and concentration on more traditional core activities.”

Cash flow may have also had something to do with the decision, judging by the price hike which the council will now face, following the takeover by the Endeavour Foundation.

The foundation says it will make the effort to preserve the employment of Gympie dump workers, but at this stage cannot promise anything.

But it is too early to say, a foundation spokeswoman said yesterday.

She said the foundation was currently dealing with a lot of detail as it negotiates its takeover of the contracts and is not in a position to comment either way on its operational plans.

But she said a detailed explanation of how the dumps would operate would be made in about two weeks.

Gympie region councillors have been told the Red Cross had given six months notice of contract termination.

The Endeavour Foundation offer will cost the council nearly 25% more, but will also include supervision of previously unsupervised waste disposal sites, balanced partly by the upcoming closure of the Southside transfer station.

The council have to pay the Endeavour Foundation $$95,883 a month from June 1, an estimated total of around $3.3 million by contract expiry in 2020.

Waste management portfolio councillor Hilary Smerdon said he believed the Red Cross had run into difficulties making its contract pay, for $77,000 a month.

The contract will require supervision of dumps and transfer stations at Bonnick Rd, Gympie, Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, Mary Valley, Gunalda, Widgee, Kilkivan, Goomeri, Traveston and Sexton.

The contract also includes provision to raise or lower the monthly fee should the council decide to reduce or increase the number of sites or amend opening hours.

The tender process was conducted by the Queensland government body, QTender and closed on February 21.

Six conforming tenders were received, but councillors were told an evaluation panel agreed the tender response from Endeavour was "the superior response in respect of price, value and quality.”