Ex-HMAS Tobruk From Wreck to Reef.
Ex-HMAS Tobruk From Wreck to Reef. Mike Knott BUN150917TOBRUK29

MP says local contractor should scuttle Tobruk

WHILE the government is busy spruiking its Buy Queensland campaign, a local contractor has been overlooked for the scuttling of ex-HMAS Tobruk.

But a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman says the successful contractor was a Queensland-registered company.

The government announced on Thursday that the successful tenderer was maritime and disposals specialist Birdon, which has a physical street address at Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

Birdon has been undertaking ship-keeping services on the vessel in the Port of Bundaberg and was the contractor behind the successful preparation and scuttling of ex-HMAS Canberra.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett attacked the government for its hypocrisy, pointing out that the Member for Bundaberg was quoted in a media release this week saying businesses needed "security and certainty” and noted that "they don't get that when local jobs are given away to interstate or overseas competitors”.

"I am beyond disappointed to hear that the Labor Government has overlooked local, experienced companies in the contract to scuttle ex-HMAS Tobruk,” he said.

"We are talking a multi-million-dollar job which would have returned significant investment back into our local economy.

"Bundaberg deserves better.”

The QPWS spokesman said Birdon was by a merit-based tender process and demonstrated the greatest experience and ability to do the required work.

"They (Birdon) have a wealth of experience in defence-related contracts including the sinking of the ex-HMAS Canberra, the current dismantling of the ex-HMAS Sydney in Perth,” he said.

"They also demonstrated the best value for money in accordance with Queensland's procurement policy.

"The company have committed to employ local workers and the project is expected to create up to 54 local jobs.”

QPWS said 11 companies bid for the Tobruk tender. Four were short-listed before the tender was offered to the successful bidder.



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