TOUGH TIMES: Livingstone Shire Councillor Adam Belot wants council to favour local businesses when assessing tenders.
TOUGH TIMES: Livingstone Shire Councillor Adam Belot wants council to favour local businesses when assessing tenders. Jessica Christie

Livingstone councillor's plan to back local business

TAKING a walk down Main St, Yeppoon and seeing nine empty store fronts provides all the motivation Livingstone Councillor Adam Belot needs to do more to support his local small business community.

He's been busy crafting a plan to turn things around by modifying the council's procurement process to put a greater emphasis on supporting local businesses that he plans to introduce at next Tuesday's council meeting.

"Since moving here in 1973, I can't recall it ever being this difficult,” Cr Belot said.

"When I receive calls and I bump into people on the street and the expression on their faces of just how challenging things are, I feel the responsibility to do what I can.”

An improvement initiative, in Cr Belot's personal opinion, lies in better directing council's decisions during the tender process towards contract winners who are prepared to utilise locally-based sub-contractors and suppliers.

"Given that council is one of the biggest employers in the region and handle very large budgets getting spent on large job stimulating projects being awarded through the tender process, I was mindful and aware that every dollar that could be spent locally by successful tenders put in by local contractors would be a positive within our community and local economy,” Cr Belot said.

"Let's put our minds together to see if we can advance a policy assisting and guiding the council staff to ensure that locals are considered and scored higher than a non-locals.”

Cr Belot was extremely grateful for assistance he'd received from Livingstone's director of corporate services Ron Posselt and council staff in drafting this motion to amend council's tender assessment process.

"I don't have the expertise and the know-how to specifically articulate what the policy should say.

"I believe the intent and what's coming through from the community is that we want to see locals being assessed right through the stages of procurement and the director is saying we're prepared and happy to support you in doing that and I think we can advance this in a most positive way,” Cr Belot said.

Cr Belot said the synergies were there to do better with local state and federal representatives, MP Brittany Lauga and MP Michelle Landry, echoing his message of supporting local and buying local.