The Fraser Coast Regional Council said upgrades to the Hervey Bay Airport runway will benefit local businesses, despite the contract being awarded to a New Zealand company. Photo: File
The Fraser Coast Regional Council said upgrades to the Hervey Bay Airport runway will benefit local businesses, despite the contract being awarded to a New Zealand company. Photo: File

Bay airport upgrade to land opportunities for locals

A NEW ZEALAND-based contractor with international airport construction expertise landed the lucrative deal to renew Hervey Bay Airport's runway, but it is not all bad news on the local front.

The multimillion-dollar project will have significant economic spin-offs for local enterprises.

That is the assurance from the Fraser Coast Regional Council after announcing Fulton Hogan scored the contract for the facility's runway renewal.

Council CEO Ken Diehm said the company, while headquartered in New Zealand, had offices across Australia, including regional Queensland.

Mr Diehm told the Chronicle Fulton Hogan had worked on runway projects at seven Queensland airports, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Prosperine, Moranbah, Rockhampton, Roma and Weipa.

"With regular flights to and from Brisbane and Sydney and local tourism destinations carrying more than 180,000 passengers a year, it's vital the Hervey Bay Airport runway continues to meet the required national design and safety standards," Mr Diehm explained.

The $20 million renewal project is expected to see business and work opportunities trickle down to local companies.

"Companies delivering the projects engage a contingent of dedicated local suppliers and contractors," Mr Diehm said.

He said the company awarded the contract for the civil construction works at the Hervey Bay aviation project last year had up to 40 locals working on site each day.

Mr Diehm said the runway renewal required specialist technical expertise and significant experience.

He said the council recognised the need to support local businesses and contractors as much as possible while also ensuring ratepayers' money was spent wisely.

All tenderers are requested to demonstrate local supplier benefits and content.

"Tenderers are given a local content score, which takes into account factors such as the use of local materials, local assembly and fabrication, the level of local employment, value for money and the quality of products and services," Mr Diehm said.

He said council is focused on spending locally and stimulating the Fraser Coast economy.

More than $110-million a year is spent on locally sourced goods and services.

Mr Diehm said council applied a 10 per cent weighting for local benefits in all tender evaluations.