Young Shire Council awarding tenders outside of town has led people to question why those jobs aren’t staying local.
Tenders on facilities such as our landfill sites, Young Aquatic Centre and construction of the new skate park in Marina Street have been awarded to individuals and businesses outside the shire, making council appear that they are not ‘getting it all done in Young’.
The ‘get it all done in Young’ campaign kicked off at the end of August 2011 and was designed to encourage people to shop locally to support and strengthen Young’s economy.
However, council’s general manager Peter Vlatko said these were just three council facilities and it was about allocating the best person with the best qualifications to do those jobs and that was the best solution for the community.
“We went through the proper public tender process and we have allowed everybody to have a look at it,” Mr Vlatko said.
“We set a certain criteria and we chose the person best qualified and most experienced for the job – at the end of the day, the community’s interest comes first,” he said.
Council recently appointed Wagga man, Mr G Borman, as the new operator of the Young Aquatic Centre.
Mr Vlatko said he was impressed with the number of locals who applied to be the new pool caretakers, but he said they did not have the necessary qualifications.
“It’s not that we don’t want to employ locals – heaps of local people thought they could do it and if they had the appropriate qualifications they would have done a good job,” he explained.
“Mr Borman is the weekend manager of the large swimming complex in Wagga – he has the experience.
“The pool here is not like running a backyard pool – we’re dealing with the lives of children and the elderly and we have to make sure it’s completely safe at all times.
“And Mr Borman is going to move here,” Mr Vlatko said.
The Redhill Landfill facility was previously operated by local Tommy McShane and his daughter Debbie, after he passed away.
“Council decided to tender the recycling collection, the operation of Victoria Street tip, Redhill Road site and the collection of domestic waste so that their leases were all due at the same time – we put it out there and chose a tender that was fair and appropriate,” said Young Material Recovery Facility (MRF) environmental and waste manager, Martin Slade.
This tender was eventually awarded to Elouera Recycling, based at Cootamundra.
“The new tender still employs people from Young and surrounding areas with the furthest being Harden and Cootamundra – how much more local can you get?” Mr Slade asked.
Mr Vlatko said the tender for the Marina Street skate park was available to everyone, but no locals applied. Council awarded it to Queensland company Concrete Skate Parks Pty Ltd.
“We are trying to promote ‘get it all done in Young’ – it’s funded by council – but we can only work with what is given to us,” he said.
“It’s not what’s cheaper – it’s what is best for the community – it’s their money.
“The majority of our business is in town and we won’t stop getting people to believe in Young and what’s good for Young. Everything you need you can get here, but the economic climate is bigger and we can’t force people if they don’t have the money,” Mr Vlatko said.