Claims emerge stadium roof came from the Middle East
THE State Government has defended its commitment to using local contractors amid claims the roof cladding for Townsville's new stadium has come from Abu Dhabi and New Zealand.
The Bulletin has been told Gold Coast-based roofing company Havendeen won the tender for the stadium roof from several North Queensland and national companies but sourced aluminium cladding from Kingspan in the Middle East and from a New Zealand supplier sourcing steel from China.
Sources say the cladding should have been sourced from Australia where there is more certainty in warranties and in the testing of products for cyclonic wind strengths.
A spokesman for the Department of Housing and Public Works did not deny roof materials were sourced from overseas but defended the Government's use of local suppliers.
The spokesman said the Government expected project manager Watpac to meet a commitment to source materials from local companies.
Watpac was also expected to take into account workplace health and safety systems and standards, an employer's commitment to apprentices and trainees, industrial relations history and compliance history during evaluation processes. "A company's location and where its employees live are also an important consideration through the evaluation process," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that, as of June 18, 96.4 per cent of construction hours on the stadium had been "by locals", and that $141.6 million had been invested into 480 North Queensland businesses in the supply chain.
"This a key commitment of the Buy Queensland policy that puts local companies and workers first, where they belong," the spokesman said.
"All procurement tenders for the North Queensland Stadium should be evaluated in accordance with the Government's Buy Queensland and Best Practice Principles policies. Buy Queensland ensures all Queensland companies and workers are put first." But the policy only prioritises "buy Queensland first" for food and beverage.
The policy also only requires the use of local contractors and manufacturers on projects worth $100 million and above "wherever possible".
A Watpac spokeswoman said originally the plan was to use standard metal cladding but it required ongoing maintenance so decisions were made to change cladding.
"As such an aluminium soffit was selected, which provided a longer warranty with no maintenance for the client," she said.
"There were two options for the aluminium soffit, of which the base material for both products comes from overseas. This was confirmed by both manufacturers."
The spokeswoman said Watpac had a responsibility to provide to the client a project that was fully certified and warranted.
"Maximising support for the local economy is a key objective of the North Queensland Stadium in line with the Queensland Government's Buy Queensland policy," she said.
"Where appropriate, these objectives will be met by breaking works into multiple packages."
However, the spokeswoman said there were considerations when deciding whether this approach was possible for particular components.
"With the roof cladding package, breaking the works into multiple packages would result in different subcontractors delivering the same works within the same vicinity," she said.
"The potential impacts of this approach (such as the complexities with certification and warranty accountabilities) were relevant considerations."