Contractor takes issue with article

I AM writing regarding the article headed ‘Hope over hall’ (Gippsland Times 28/5) by Davyd Reid.

I appreciate your enthusiasm in reporting local interest stories, and indeed I’m very supportive of the local Bundalaguah-Myrtlebank community’s efforts to retain their local hall.

May I suggest though, that Mr Reid, the Gippsland Times and editor, perform more thorough research before publishing such stories.

I read with interest the results of Mr Reid’s interview with another local electrical contractor.

Mr Austin’s reported opinion differs greatly from both mine, and the Energy Safe Victoria licensed electrical inspector that accompanied me to site.

We did attend the site with a representative of the Wellington Shire Council and we did scope the job thoroughly and we did provide a detailed itemized breakdown of the tasks required and their associated costs.

It was far from, “… not had a look at all, and gone costs oh yeah, a hall it’s probably worth that I reckon; put it on a piece of paper and sent it off”.

Our budgetary estimate for these works was far removed from the figure quoted in your ill-informed article, and, I take great offence at the inference that local contractors lack integrity and are unprofessional in their tender submissions.

In my opinion, this is a very poorly researched and uninformed piece of reporting which reduces the credibility of your newspaper.

While I realize this is a very emotive issue, I urge Mr Reid, and all other interested parties, to deal in substantiated facts in the future.

Editor’s note: Journalist Davyd Reid was reporting what was said at the community meeting. Councillor representatives were present and had the opportunity to refute any incorrect claims in the forum in which they were raised, which would have been reported if they had done so. Mr Reid did not interview electrician Stewart Austin at the meeting — he reported what Mr Austin said publicly. As is the case with the article on page seven of today’s issue regarding the Bundalaguah Hall, both points of view were presented. Where the truth lay regarding the state of the hall is still being disputed by the Bundalaguah-Myrtlebank Hall Committee and Wellington Shire Council.