Tender crucial to local business’ bright future

Date published: 9 February 2023

The future for local business Sanderson Rural Contracting is as bright as their brand-new, bright red, 7ft powered tractor and slasher thanks to securing a three-year contract with Townsville City Council.

Bluewater resident Ross Sanderson’s small business Sanderson Rural Contracting was one of several gardening, mowing, slashing, weed control and outdoor management businesses to be awarded $43 million in parks and open spaces work for up to eight years.

While Council crews will continue to focus on parks, gardens and roadside work in the central area of the city, the multi-million-dollar tender covers areas to the north, south and west of the city.

Ross had been doing slashing and other work for Council for around 18 months, with his stellar work recognised when he secured this latest tender.

“I’d been working with the Council for over 12 months and they have been very happy with my work,” he said.

“To get a three-year contract, I was obviously extremely excited about it and that has enabled me to go out and buy a brand-new tractor.

“This new tractor and slasher has 120 horsepower, it’s up to all Council specifications and it’s got everything on it I need to do the Council work.

“When I go out and do work for Council I do the best job that I can possibly do and that’s basically what has helped me get this tender.”

Sanderson Rural Contracting’s focus will be on areas north of the city and Ross said being awarded the tender was a massive boost to his small business, which he started two years ago.

“I basically know what I’m doing now for the next three years and as a small business owner, to have that guaranteed work, that’s priceless,” he said.

“Originally, I was slashing paddocks in the area and still had a full-time job driving trucks before winning my first Council contract.

“I tendered for Council work in the area and won that, that was for an 18-month contract originally and to get this latest tender to continue my work has been a huge relief.

“It’s just me working at the moment but with this contract I can now also look at bringing on someone else to help me.”

Ross lives in Bluewater with his wife and two daughters and while he joked his kids weren’t at all interested when he showed off his new machinery, he said he was thrilled to work for the city that he’s called home for the past two decades.

“I am from the UK originally but I’ve been in Townsville near on twenty years now and I absolutely love it here,” said.

“I’m a country boy at heart, we had farms and that in the UK and I’ve done a lot of cattle work in Australia but Townsville has that nice balance of being city and country.”

Sanderson Rural Contracting are one of a number of businesses awarded contracts, with the contracts commencing 1 July 2023 and will continue for up to eight years in total.

The other business are O & E Blacklock T/A Ausfield Services, Centrogen, Poletti Maintenance & Vegetation Management, Tree Acq Pty Ltd T/A MPDT, Lexerturf, Biodiversity Australia, Merritts Mowing Services and Vestco Holdings T/A Mainlink Services.

All the successful businesses are small to medium sized, have offices in Townsville and a strong connection to the local community.

“Council is proud to support local business through this multi-million-dollar tender, which will help create jobs for people in the community,” a Council spokesperson said.

“Distributing the volume of work between multiple suppliers ensures suppliers have the capacity to maintain flexible working schedules and deliver a high standard of work for the people of Townsville.”

 Sanderson Rural Contracting.
Caption: Ross Sanderson, from Sanderson Rural Contracting, was delighted to win a Council tender to help secure the future of his business.