Preferred tenderer named in the sale of Ilfracombe Post Office
Longreach Regional Council will soon sign a contract with its preferred tenderer for the sale of the Ilfracombe Post Office, following a decision of Councillors on Thursday.
The decision follows an open Expression of Interest process that tested market interest in the business, including the building and land. Everyone who submitted an Expression of Interest was then invited to submit a formal tender, and Council considered the tender responses at its February Meeting on Thursday.
Council says it received a number of responses as part of the process. Each confidential tender submission was assessed by an evaluation panel against criteria set by Council, and the panel found the submission of a family investor from Mareeba had the highest scoring tender. The small business couple from Mareeba have connections to Ilfracombe and have recently bought property in the community. Tenders were scored based on three criteria, being experience, price, plus economic and community impact, which was weighted most heavily making up forty percent of the final score.
Council will now work with the tenderer on a formal contract of sale. Once a signed contract is in place the next step will be to have the Australia Post Licence transferred, a process that Australia Post advises can take upwards of three months.
Mayor Tony Rayner said the tenderer scored highest based on its potential benefit to the Ilfracombe economy and community.
“We received a number of very good responses, which is encouraging. Each of those confidential responses outlined some interesting plans for the business, building and land, and this tenderer scored highest in the economic and community impact criteria. That’s what has made them the highest scoring tender overall.
“We’ll get the paperwork done now and look forward to an outcome that is in everyone’s interests, including those of the community.”
Cr Rayner said Council had never considered closing the Post Office.
“At no point have we ever considered closing the Post Office, or reducing services to Ilfracombe in any way. We simply think that, based on interest we’ve received over a number of years, a private operator could grow and develop the business, to the benefit of the community, in a way that we’re unable to. We’ve been clear from day one that this process is about getting proposals that deliver a better outcome for the community. That’s what we have now, and we look forward to discussing that in more detail with the tenderer.
“We’ll have more to announce once we’ve signed an agreement with the purchaser.”