Parks mowing plan a cut above
  • Saturday 02 July 2011

More reliable, more accountable and more professional.

That’s what Sunshine Coast residents can expect when it comes to turf maintenance in public areas under a new maintenance program that becomes operational from 1 July 2011.

As the region continues to grow, council remains committed to providing a high quality maintenance program for parks and gardens and roads.

Service Delivery Portfolio Councillor Paul Tatton said as a result of amalgamation in 2008, Sunshine Coast Council inherited three different operational procedures for the engagement and management of turf maintenance contractors.

"With these contracts set to expire on 30 June 2011, council introduced a new and improved service delivery model for turf maintenance," he said.

"Under the new program council this week awarded six new contracts to firms that will provide ongoing turf maintenance services across the region."

Councillor Tatton said these contracts are essential to ensure the highest standard of maintenance of our parks and open space.

"That is why council implemented a process that was well structured, open and transparent," Cr Tatton said.

"The process also offered tenderers the opportunity to take part in information sessions. The sessions were offered so that providers not familiar with council’s tendering process would not be disadvantaged.

"We also engaged an independent procurement auditor to ensure the 14 submissions received were evaluated using sound contracting principles outlined within the Local Government Act 2009.

"That independent probity report confirmed that the procurement process for the Turf Maintenance Contract was evaluated fairly and equitably in accordance with council’s Procurement Policy."

The report also showed that:

  • tender documentation was well structured;
  • education of long term contractors to transition to the new delivery mode were well managed;
  • information sessions were offered to all tenderers;
  • the assessment process and recommendations of the Evaluation Panel were consistent with the evaluation documents.

One of the successful tenderers, Andy Gesell of the APG Group, said his experience with the tender process was positive.

"As a local small business owner with many years of experience in tendering here on the Sunshine Coast as well as interstate, I found council’s Turf Maintenance Contract process to be highly professional, transparent and well informed," he said.

"With a growing business in Noosa I am always looking for new opportunities to achieve positive outcomes for both my business and for my local community.

"I‘m now looking forward to employing local people to help in the delivery of the contract."

Councillor Tatton said the new contracts had been divided across 14 zones – 12 for open space parks, reserves and easement networks and two for major roads and thoroughfares.

"The logic for separating the road network is to ensure legislated traffic management requirements are addressed," he said.

"It also provided an opportunity for smaller businesses, that may not have the capacity to deliver on major works, to focus purely on turf maintenance in open space parks, reserves and easements."

Contracts have been awarded for a period of three years, with two options for a further one year each.

Council has contacted all successful and unsuccessful applicants to inform them of the outcome and provide feedback.