A Colac construction company has narrowly missed out on the contract for Colac’s Central Reserve upgrades, pipped by a firm directed by St Kilda legend Fraser Gehrig.
Colac Otway Shire Council will award the contract to upgrade Central Reserve’s netball courts and lighting to Tuff Group Holdings after councillors voted 3-2 in support of an officer recommendation at Wednesday’s ordinary meeting.
A report indicated that Tuff Group Holdings, a Melbourne-based engineering firm that lists Mr Gehrig as its managing director, provided the best value for the council.
But Cr Chris Smith moved an alternative motion to award the contract to local outfit Spence Construction, who had come second in the tender process but reportedly lost points on experience with court construction.
“I think if this was scored differently it would be way out in front.”
Cr Smith said the tender process, which gives scores for experience, price and other factors, should give local contribution more weight than the current five per cent, although this is in line with other councils across the state.
Cr Jason Schram backed the motion, saying it would be a “good news story” to award the contract to Spence.
“It’s a tricky one, personally I would like to see it a little bit higher, we’ve got to encourage locals to put in but at the same time they have to be competitive and give the best value for the ratepayer,” he later said.
But other councillors rejected the alternative motion, indicating the last-minute switcheroo would undermine the tender process.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.