Missing tender was ‘kick in guts’
MISSING out on the tender for the drainage works at Wherrett Park has been a kick in the guts for Maclean's Mick Corbett.
Mr Corbett is the owner of Corbett Earthmoving Pty Ltd, which placed a tender for the work which is part of a $950,000 upgrade of the Wherrett Park sports complex.
Corbett Earthmoving's tender of $332,372.70 was almost $90,000 more than the winning tender from Ledonne Construction.
Although based in the southern Sydney suburb of Carlton, Ledonne has been operating in the Clarence Valley from its South Grafton depot for the past seven years.
For the past 15 years Mr Corbett has also been president of the Maclean Bobcats Football Club which plays its home games at Barry Watts Oval in the middle of the complex.
Mr Corbett said his company, which also sponsors the club, has donated its machinery for work on the grounds over that time.
Mr Corbett was shocked his tender was so far off the mark.
"The difference in the two tenders was massive," he said. "It was a real shock to me."
Mr Corbett said his company planned to source its materials locally.
"We got quotes from local suppliers which we thought were pretty good," he said. "We wanted to make sure we kept as much of the money as we could in the local economy.
"But their prices wouldn't have made the whole difference in the total."
In 2014 Mr Corbett was presented with the annual Ernie Muller Award for Contribution to Sport in the Lower Clarence at the 2014 Clarence Valley Sports Awards.
Award presenter Tim Ryan said Mr Corbett had worked with John Allan, the Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and council staff to secure the $950,000 Federal Government grant for the work.
He had also volunteered many hours of time and experience consulting with council staff about drainage programs at Wherrett Park.
Mr Ryan said the records show Mr Corbett had donated machinery for many working bees at the grounds including in 2005 when 40 loads of donated mill mud was spread over the soccer and touch football fields.
Mr Corbett insists there are no hard feelings.
"Business is business," he said. "I know the other company and they're a good operation.
"We have not missed out entirely because we won the contract for the carpark section of the work.
"It's been a good contract for us, but business is pretty tough locally, so this would have been a good one for us to get as well."