VASSALLO Constructions was knocked off the shortlist to tender for the Mackay Ring Road stage 1 but it hasn't walked away empty-handed.
Yesterday, the Mackay construction company was awarded a $1.9million contract.
It's less than 1% of the entire $500million ring road budget but it's a step in the right direction, according to Dawson MP George Christensen.
"I was and remain disappointed the only group that expressed interest in the main contract that had a local component (Vassallo) was knocked off the shortlist," he said.
"(But) I hope to see the continuation of local companies like Vassallo doing the work.
"It's important the local workers get the lion's share of the work that is going to be offered."
Mr Christensen said he had been in talks with Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester about mandating a local content policy for projects funded by the Federal Government. The Federal Government has committed $397.9million and State Government has committed $99.4million. .
Despite the Federal Government's deep pockets, it is the State Government that awards the contracts.
As for how that $500million will be spent, Mr Christensen said he had assurance from Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey and member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert that local sub-contractors and suppliers would be involved.
Mr Bailey said the awarding of the $1.9million contract to Vassallo Constructions was an example of the State Government providing local businesses and workers with opportunities.
Mrs Gilbert said local workers were already reaping the rewards of the State Government's commitments to local content and support for job creation.
As for the delivery of the project, Mr Christensen said the years of "babbling about new roads" in Mackay was over.
"They're happening and they're happening now," he said.
"Construction of the Mackay Ring Road, you're seeing it, and funding is on the table for the Walkerston Bypass."
State Member for Mirani Jim Pearce, whose electorate includes Walkerston, said it was great to see local businesses already benefiting from the significant projects.
"Local sub-contractors and workers have been undertaking other service relocation works for the project since September, and materials for these works have been purchased through local suppliers," he said.
Federal Minister for Northern Queensland Matt Canavan thanked the Road Accident Action Group for campaigning for the Walkerston Bypass and the important role the group played in securing the funding.
He said the contracts for these roads deserved to go to local companies and central Queensland was still finding it difficult after the downturn.
"These upgrades and roads have a wider economic benefit for the region once the highway is built but the billions of dollars we are spending deserve to go to local companies and get locals into a job," he said.
Construction is expected to commence mid-2017 and scheduled for completion by mid-2020, weather permitting.
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