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Tuesday, 23 October 1984
Page: 2171

To Senator the Honourable Douglas McClelland, President of the Senate, and members of the Senate in Parliament. The petition of certain citizens of Australia and Electors of the Division of Maranoa showeth-

That the requirement by the Commonwealth Government that open tenders be called for all work pursuant to work to be performed on Road Development projects under the auspices of the Australian Bi-centennial Authority is detrimental to the outback and other areas of Australia and in particular to the Murweh Shire, Booringa Shire, Bungil Shire, Paroo Shire, and Murilla Shire and the Maranoa electoral district generally for the following reasons:

(1) Open tenders tend to result in contractors outside of the areas where the work is to be performed being awarded the contract and thereafter using their own work force who are generally only temporary residents in that area.

(2) Whilst this may appear initially attractive to the Government on economic grounds, local contractors established with local employees and plant overheads are being deprived of these contracts causing or being likely to cause lay-offs of men, cessation of plant use and the payment of crippling repayments on idle plant, a lessening of spending in the community, loss of security of tenure of the contractors and their families and in cases the departure from the district of local contractors to seek work elsewhere.

(3) An increase in the trend for country dwellers to move to the cities depriving Queensland of the benefit of its decentralised areas, and being apparently inconsistent with the policy of the Federal Government in that regard .

(4) Preliminary figures tend to show that there are approximately 120 local contractors and employees in the above areas and together with their families they represent a large number of people whose departure or lessened standard of income is likely to affect the local and business communities of many of the small towns in outback Australia.

(5) The local contractors should receive favourable consideration because of their preparedness to live, work and have their children educated in these areas in sometimes adverse conditions and being deprived of those more favourable conditions prevailing closer to the coastal regions.

Your petitioners therefore pray that the requirement that open tenders be called for the Australian Bi-centennial Authority Road projects be removed by the Commonwealth Parliament Legislation and that in lieu thereof tenders be offered to local contractors.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.