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Mayor Jack Dempsey and Superior Pak National Manufacturing Manager Mark Hamilton inspect a recently completed truck.
Mayor Jack Dempsey and Superior Pak National Manufacturing Manager Mark Hamilton inspect a recently completed truck. Contributed

What 'buy local' really means for Bundaberg

A 'BUY local' strategy employed by the Bundaberg Regional Council is generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the Bundaberg Region economy.  

Modelling revealed the council's budget of $240 million has an economic impact of more than $509 million and creates almost 2112 full and part-time positions.  

Mayor Jack Dempsey said that was why the council buys locally and employs local contractors wherever possible.  

"It's important that money collected from locals should be invested with locals for local projects as opportunities present themselves," Cr Dempsey said.  

"Every possible dollar collected by Bundaberg Regional Council is invested right here for the benefit of the Bundaberg Region. That is a message I never tire of telling our ratepayers.  

"The important outcome for a budget of this proportion is the impact spending locally can create. The ripple effect of the council's stimulus of the local economy is a key driver for local employment and job creation."

He said contracts with Superior Pak valued at $1.2 million, which provide specialty vehicles for the council's waste and recycling fleet, were a great example of supporting local industry.  

Superior Pak National Manufacturing Manager Mark Hamilton said supplying truck bodies and ongoing maintenance to the council provided job security for the company's 170-person workforce.   

"Securing the council contracts, and in particular the Bundaberg Regional Council contract, is very valuable for us," Mr Hamilton said.  

"We get the opportunity to conduct research and development on the run and continually bring new technologies in to our truck bodies.   

"The state of the region for its hygiene and refuse collection is vital. So if we can be doing that faster, quicker, cleaner and more cost effectively for the council, then that's our target and that's been working to date. We're very happy with the results there."  

Cr Dempsey said while local companies secured numerous large contracts, the council also engaged with smaller suppliers providing ongoing services such as slashing, cleaning and the provision of food for functions.  

"Council is always looking to engage with local sub-contractors and service providers and we currently have 236 suppliers on the pre-qualified panel with 178 of these registered from within the Bundaberg Region."