Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Row over Value of Council Workforce

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Row over Value of Council Workforce

Article excerpt

Byline: EMMA CHANNON

ENGINEERING services director Peter See was forced to defend his council workers during a heated discussion about the value of the men and women in orange vests.

The talk was triggered at this week's engineering services meeting when Cr Ross Bartley questioned whether council had considered contracting out gravel re-sheeting projects.

He later added contractors C[pounds sterling]don't have as many overheads as councilC[yen] and would C[pounds sterling]probably be a bit quickerC[yen].

C[pounds sterling]Given the current climate with flood damage in the community, I just wonder whether we could contract it out,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]I'm interested in exploring that in the future. I'm just interested in achieving the best bang for our buck.C[yen]

Mr See immediately assumed a defensive stance, saying council didn't usually contract work out, C[pounds sterling]to keep (their) staff in jobsC[yen].

Mayor Ron Bellingham added his view, saying he valued all council staff and the jobs they did.

C[pounds sterling]They do high-quality jobs and as this year has rolled by we've seen that expertise develop,C[yen] he said. C[pounds sterling]There is certainly an opportunity for contractors and as money starts to flow in for flood recovery funds that will go beyond council resources.

C[pounds sterling]At this stage I think our workforce is doing an excellent job and people have said to me they're impressed with their speed.C[yen]

Cr Bartley retorted he witnessed a lot of works done that had a C[pounds sterling]lack of supervisionC[yen], which struck a raw nerve with Mr See.

C[pounds sterling]By law all engineering work has to be monitored (by engineers),C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]There are no contractors that are going to come out on Christmas or Boxing Day like we saw in the floods and close the roads and clean up. …

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