Home' InDaily : December 4 2009 Contents December 4 - 10, 2009
The Independent Weekly news
Go local, firms
urge SA leaders
Public anger has convinced
Advertiser Newspapers to back
down on proposed changes
to distribution, which many
newsagents said could be the end
of their businesses.
A huge regional outcry over a
customer "migration" scheme,
where customers would deal
directly with the company rather
than local agents, led Advertiser
Newspapers to scrap the plan for
Circulation director Adam
Everett said subscribers in
regional areas would be given the
option of having a direct relation-
ship with Advertiser Newspapers,
but could continue to subscribe
through their newsagent if they
Customers can also choose to
continue to pay their account with
A number of newsagents told
The Independent Weekly last week
that the loss of foot traffic into
the store as customers paid bills
would harm their business.
Advertiser Newspapers has also
altered a plan where subscribers
would have had to pay for their
newspaper eight weeks in advance.
"In response to this (the
community concern), subscribers
will be able to choose to be billed
every four weeks and can pay
anytime within that four weeks,"
Mr Everett said.
Newsagents have also been
given a further three weeks to
sign the contracts for 2010, bowing
to newsagents demands for
further time to consider the offer.
Ardrossan newsagent David
Kluske, who has been a vocal
critic of the first contract, said
while this was largely a win for
newsagents and customers, he
still had some concerns about the
handover of customer informa-
tion to Advertiser Newspapers.
The Independent Weekly
understands no offer has been
made to improve the profitability
of distribution rounds, such as a
Local companies are discrimi-
nated against by the State
Government, says the Civil
SA civil engineering companies
are laying off staff despite a
surge in Government spending on
projects like the northern express-
way and Gallipoli underpass.
Contractors Federation CEO
Peter Nolan said the Government
favoured large national and
international companies, leaving
locals without enough work.
"The projects announced in the
last two years have all been too
big for SA companies to tackle on
their own," he said.
Mr Nolan said the Government
refuses to separate overall tender
bids into individual, smaller
projects for which SA civil
construction companies could
afford to bid.
Tendering conditions are also
restrictive, Mr Nolan said. The
Government requires a company
to have previous experience on
a project of similar type and
size before tendering for it, so
an SA company with a specialist
tramline designer on staff cannot
tender for a tramline project
unless the company itself has
completed a tramline design.
spokesperson David Ridgway said
the system stopped SA companies
"Surely you d want to give your
local companies the opportunity
to participate in larger projects
and get the experience and skills
to develop so they can eventually
look at the bigger projects on their
own?" he said.
Infrastructure Minister Patrick
Conlon said the Government
was trying to support local firms
without being protectionist.
"Many of our projects are so
large they require firms with a big
balance sheet," he said.
"It is important to remember
SA firms are very good and are
very competitive. They consist-
ently win work interstate and
don t need handouts," he said.
Mr Conlon cited the northern
expressway as a major project
involving a local company. The
expressway is being built by a
consortium which includes local
firm York Civil.
Mr Nolan said there weren t
many opportunities for SA com-
panies to join these consortiums.
Instead, he and Mr Ridgway said
the Government should break up
major projects into smaller parts
for which local companies could
"It s about a partnership.
Trying to work with local
companies because you do get a
better benefit in the community
when you use locals," Mr Ridgway
The federation said the state
economy was suffering when
contracts were won by interstate
"If you put all your major
projects out so that only interstate
companies can tender, those
companies also come here with
equipment from interstate and
overseas," said Mr Nolan.
"The trickle is all the way
through society. We re having
accountants, cleaners and small
manufacturers come to us saying
they aren t getting the work they
should be from these projects."
The desalination plant at Port
Stanvac, which is being handled
by the AdelaideAqua DC consor-
tium, has hired out-of-town staff
but spokesperson Bernie Auricht
said the company focussed on
using SA contractors.
"Over 70 per cent of the contest-
able part of this project is going to
locals. We have no unskilled people
who have been brought in from
interstate. We have only brought
in some highly specialised, skilled
tradesman," she said.
Mr Nolan said using local
contractors on major projects
was not just about short-term
"If you have an international
company that comes in they don t
take on trainees, they don t leave a
"If the Government only wants
to build infrastructure in this
state and have a road, no skills
or economic impact, from that
project afterward then that s
disappointing," he said.
Contractors Federation CEO Peter Nolan: disappointed.
Photo: Kate Elmes
Links Archive December 3rd 2009 December 7th 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page