Robe District Council's focus on Fox and Hoopers Beach

Robe District Council has approved an extra $35,000 for sand replenishment works at two key beaches.

At last week's monthly meeting, it approved the extra money for sand replenishment at Fox and Hoopers beaches, as well as designing a temporary access for Fox beach.

Councillors were asked in a recommendation by acting CEO Nick Brown to approve $800 for Environmental and Civil Solutions to prepare the design of a temporary access to Fox Beach to allow sand replenishment to be undertaken.

They were also asked to approve the engagement of a local contractor to undertake the sand replenishment at Fox and Hooper's Beach and finally, approve an increase in the Foreshore Protection Maintenance Budget $103,783 (an extra $35,000) for sand replenishment.

Cr Ned Wright began the discussion, asking acting CEO Mr Brown why council needed to employ a local contractor, also asking if this was in acccordance with council's procurement policy. Mr Brown explained that it was and why this was the case.

"We have looked to get two quotes who are both from local contractors," Mr Brown responded. "There are two contractors in the report and in normal circumstances, we'll choose the cheapest of the two quotes."

Cr David Laurie commented: "So madam mayor, that is an example though isn't it...the ratepayers might be thinking why hasn't the tender gone further."

Mr Brown stepped in: "It's not a tender because council's tender policy kicks in at $50,000.

"Our procurement policy says that we obtain two quotes at that value...the procurement policy also talks about using local businesses...We would normally seek quotes from local businesses...it's perfectly in accordance with council's procurement policy.

"If you wish us to obtain quotes from outside the district, you can change the policy or recommend that we seek that."

Cr Wright commented: "That is a good example of what we need to look at - is it the right thing to do?"

Cr Laurie expressed his opinion: "Is it that hard to change to get those outside quotes - I know it's a policy but it's something we should discuss."

Mr Brown confirmed this was a subject council would discuss: "I suppose one of the principles that council has followed in the past is that we support local businesses and by obtaining two or three quotes depending on which section of the procurement policy it falls under that provides you with governance.

"That kind of procurement policy is the standard throughout every council I've been involved with."

Mr Brown explained that the $20,000 in the budget was allocated for the construction of the Fox beach access.

Cr Peter Riseley asked works operations coordinator Trevor Hondow if he and his team had looked at the point that people were using to access Fox Beach at the moment, located further to the west.

"It's a very low point and it's quite flat," Cr Riseley said. "I think it would be much easier access as far as any difficulties and if we build a future ramp, that would be the logical place to put it."

Mr Hondow responded: "In my way of thinking from a machinery point of view and getting large trucks and machinery to that point, if we went down to where you mean, it could damage that walking track...

"Utilising that car park and going directly over the hill would involve less stuffing around and would cause less damage...that walking track was never meant to be at a standard where it could take trucks."

Councillors resolved to approve the engagement of Environmental and Civil Solutions to prepare the design of a temporary access to Fox Beach for $800 to allow sand replenishment to be undertaken, engage with a local contractor to undertake the sand replenishment at Fox and Hooper's Beach and approve increase in the Foreshore Protection Maintenance Budget $103,783 (+$35,000) to cover the cost of sand replenishment at the two beaches.