of Coffs Harbour City Council’s Coastal Works construction unit is to generate
profits and earnings for the benefit of the local community by winning building
projects that would otherwise go to large commercial civil contractors from
outside the area.
has been undertaking commercial works since 2008 and the approach we use has
not changed with the new name. Calling ourselves Coastal Works is about
creating an instantly recognisable brand to help us build on our reputation and
customer base when we tender for works with other government agencies such as
the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS),” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director
is the only group available locally that can tender for projects with the RMS,
as we’re the only ones that have the pre-qualification required to do so. But,
we’re able to sub-contract for those projects to any local registered
contractor. The works we did for RMS at Cook Drive are a good example. The RMS
approached Coastal Works knowing we were the only pre-qualified organisation
and we employed a number of local firms to carry out some of the works – so
they benefited too.
Coastal Works, that project would most likely have been won by a major
contractor from Newcastle or Sydney and the money made would not have gone into
the local economy. If you like, the community benefits twice - the annual net
profit generated by Coastal Works is put into the city’s funds to be used for
works like roads, footpaths and kerb and guttering - plus local sub-contractors
also get work and the money they make goes into the Coffs Harbour economy too.”
CEO of the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) recently queried how Coastal
Works operates following some concerns from contractors in the region.
the CCF was mistaken in the figures they quoted which were for all of Council’s
Business Units, including the Airport and Holiday Parks,” added Mr Raby. “The
average profit made since Council began doing private works has been around
$1.1m a year – and all of that extra income goes into the public purse. Last
year, Coastal Works generated $2.4m extra income for the community. It has to
turn a profit. It is run as a business and has to stand alone as a business.
Council funds can be used to cover any losses Coastal Works might make. But, if
it didn’t make a profit for the city, it would be shut down. We also
concentrate on going for tenders outside of the Coffs Harbour locality and that
means it brings money from outside into the city.
Works is also not interested in undertaking sub-division, or any works normally
undertaken by local contractors. We have been asked often to quote on local
works but have always suggested that a local contractor be used instead. Our
goal is to benefit the whole Coffs Harbour community by generating income
ourselves – and for local businesses.”