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Modula HousingWritten by Nicole Windley, Category Manager, Local Buy

Jundah is a small rural town in Central West Queensland, approximately a 2-hour drive south of Longreach. In late 2022, Barcoo Shire Council faced a challenge procuring housing for their staff in Jundah due to their location and a lack of available builders willing to travel.

Council received funding from the State Government to build units. A cost estimate from a quantity surveyor for the construction element of the project came in at just over $1.5 million. They went to market in September 2022, and despite targeting approximately 16 suppliers, they only received one quote and it was significantly over their budget which required Council to look at other options.

After finding this process unsuitable, Council decided to investigate their options to find another accommodation solution. They decided to investigate a more transportable housing solution, where the building could be constructed offsite and then transported to the location, and this is where Local Buy was able to assist.

Local buy newsletter images May 2023_Barcoo CEO Quote

After some discussions about how we could assist, we worked closely with Council to contact suppliers who are in the demountable/transportable building trade to tender for the Arrangement.

In November 2022, Local Buy opened Arrangements back out to the market. After approaching approximately 30 businesses, we received tender responses from five new suppliers in the demountable/transportable building trade.

After the evaluations and clarifications process, all five of these new suppliers were added to the Facilities, Parks and Amenities Arrangement (LB304) in January 2023. This then brought our total to six suppliers who could deliver this work under the arrangement.

Barcoo Modular Housing Plan

It was in January 2023 that Council commenced preliminary work with the six suppliers to see if they were fit-for purpose, had the capability and capacity to build and install within Council’s required timeframes and could deliver to Jundah. Only four companies were deemed suitable to supply the accommodation for Council’s needs, with one supplier unable to meet the project completion deadline.

Council went out to market in February 2023 under the LB304 Arrangement to the three suppliers via VendorPanel, to quote on both a 3 x 2-bedroom and 4 x 2-bedroom house in accordance with their ‘scope of works and submission requirements’. All three suppliers provided quotes as part of their submission, and all were evaluated.

After finalising the tender process, Council took their decision to their Council meeting which approved the decision to award the contract to Bay Investments Qld Pty Ltd (Trading as Oly Homes) to construct, deliver, and establish at a full turnkey level, 3 x 2-bedroom transportable houses to Jundah. Oly Homes is a well-established company that has been a leader in modular building in Queensland for over 50 years and knows how to design a building to suit the Queensland lifestyle.  

This was not only the best staff housing solution for the community, but it was also within the budget and timeframes as required by their grant funding agreement.

Council CEO, Mike Lollback, said that one of the most important outcomes of this process was the positive experience Council had working with the Local Buy team.

“Local Buy were there for us when we needed help. Housing in small rural towns is important to maintain Council’s workforce and, after the first approach to the market failed, we were left wondering what to do next. We contacted Local Buy, and they came up with some real and tangible solutions that now has the project back on track. The value that Local Buy can offer to all councils not only saves councils time and money, but it also means that entire process of tendering and selection of contractors meets the onerous requirements that local government is required to meet”.

Get in touch with Category Manager, Nicole Windley, Industrial Commodities & Services, E: or P: 0427 811 683

Modula Housing