Local dollars to ‘sail away’

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BIG SPENDER: The government run facility shops locally whenever it can, pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.THE region’s business community could be left with a multimillion-dollar void if the government decides to privatise the Lake Keepit Sport and Recreation Centre.
Nanjing Night Net

The facility has a policy of purchasingeverything it can locally, from food to vehicles, pumping hundreds of thousands into the local economy every year.

The state government has soundedout private operators to take control of eight of the 11 camps across NSW, including Lake Keepit.

On average, the Lake Keepit facilityspends $170,000 to $190,000 a year on food and beverages, all sourced and supplied from local businesses.

Recently, it spent$35,000 on new bicycles and bought $175,000 worth of mowing and farming machinery.

Over the last three years, thecentre spent $690,000 on capital works projects, all carried out by local builders.

It has 13 contracts in place with local businesses including plumbing, electrical needs, pest control and refrigeration.

The centre regularly tradeswith 38 other businessesand has a database of hundreds of local companies it caninvoice directly.

The region’s business chambers say local contracts and spending could be at risk if the centre was privatise, as the new owner looks to make a profit.

Tamworth Business Chamber president Lia Mahony said she appreciated the facility’s very clear guideline to shop locally.

“I know a lot of businesses in Manilla have benefited from it,” Ms Mahony said.

“Gunnedah and Tamworth also rely strongly on the sport and recreation park for business as well.It would be a shame to see that income potential leave the region.”

Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce president Mike Broekman said shopping locally was “hugely important” to the survival of small towns.

“Any attack on local procurement is an attack on the overall structure of small communities like Gunnedah and even to the point of places like Tamworth,”said Mr Broekman.

“The major concern in relation to privatisation is the end cost.Whenever something is privatised, it’sgot to make a profit.”

The Office of Sport’s annual reportrevealed Sport and Recreation Centres had more than a20 per centreduction in net operation costs, despite a 14 per centincrease in participants.

They also had acustomer satisfactionrate of 91 per cent.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.