OPINION: Sometimes cost trumps local jobs

ANY time a major construction project is announced, the promises about job creation are rolled out.

We heard it when the Maryborough munitions factory was announced, when the Hervey Bay CBD upgrade was funded and, yes, when the Hervey Bay airport precinct project was revealed.

As Cr Darren Everard says, it is a shame the contract for this project's construction went to a Sunshine Coast business, rather than a local operation.

It would appear the promises of construction jobs were ultimately for outside workers.

But here is a perfect example of the incredibly difficult work councils do, and the many priorities they must balance.

On the one hand, the councillors, like all of us, want to support local businesses in any way they can.

On the other, they have a responsibility to be prudent with ratepayers' money.

That is why, as Cr Everard said, cost must be an important consideration when awarding contracts.

Of course, it is not the only consideration and it is encouraging to see how much thought is given to the flow-on effects of projects such as these.

Unfortunately, however, it seems it is not always as simple as "shopping local".