03/07/2020 - 10:38

Boost for jobs in regional WA

03/07/2020 - 10:38

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A new WA Buy Local Policy 2020 has been introduced to ensure state government agencies prioritise regional businesses in which work or services are being delivered.

Boost for jobs in regional WA
The new policy aims to better ensure local businesses are chosen for state government-led work in regional WA. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A new WA Buy Local Policy 2020 has been introduced to ensure state government agencies prioritise regional businesses in which work or services are being delivered.

The state government unveiled the new policy today, a revised iteration of the current Buy Local Policy, established in 2002.

The 2002 policy aimed to make sure regional businesses benefitted from the the state government’s annual $27 billion spend on goods, services and works.

However, a 2017 auditor general’s report found the existing policy was not achieving the required employment and economic benefits for the state.

Under the 2020 policy, local businesses in the region that the work is being carried out will be invited to bid for contracts in their local area and the revised Regional Price Preferences will ensure these businesses are given a stronger weighting than those from other parts of the state.

For example, if a regional business submits a bid of $5 million, it is eligible for a Regional Price Preference of up to $500,000 and the bid is assessed as though it was $4.5 million. If the bid is successful, the price paid to the supplier would remain $5 million.

Meanwhile, Perth-based businesses can only claim a preference of up to $250,000 if it includes a commitment to source content from the location where the contract will be delivered and its bid is assessed as though it was $4.75 million.

The state government anticipates the new 2020 policy to create an additional 3,000 regional jobs and more than 200 apprenticeships and traineeships during the first 12 months of operation, which it said was critical for a state-wide recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Premier Mark McGowan said the policy would play an important role in maximising opportunities for local businesses.

“This is all about ensuring that local businesses are given every opportunity to carry out work for the state government in their local area,” he said.

“The second round of regional communication forums will ensure the intensive work done to date to canvas the views of regional stakeholders carries on into the implementation phase for further refinements.

“Our number one focus is to ensure Western Australia recovers strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the updated Buy Local policy will support local economies in regional WA and create jobs for local workers.”

Regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said the policy would help regional businesses to become more competitive by providing SMEs with look-ahead lists on project opportunities.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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