NEW figures from the Department of Commerce show a slight lift in the proportion of resourc es contracts awarded to local firms during the past year.The Local Content Report for November 2012 reveals the percentage of contracts over $100,000 awarded to Western Australian-based companies grew from 68 per cent for the period January 2011 to September 2011, to 69.6 per cent for the period January 2012 to September 2012.Since July 2011, $30 billion worth of locally awarded contracts have been recorded by the Department of Commerce.Significant increases in local content noted by the report were Chevron’s Gorgon project, where local content grew from 44 per cent last year to 64 per cent, although the value of contracts awarded in this period ($1.6bn) is still only a fraction of the $43bn total.In 2012, new projects with the highest proportion of locally awarded contracts include BHP’s Ore Body 24 and Simcoa, with 93 per cent each, and the Worsley Alumina E&G Project, with 90 per cent local content.The true impact of these figures on the WA economy is unclear, because they focus only on the initial award of the contract, and any subsequent sub-contracting is not captured.The Department of Commerce has also previously noted that many other projects do not report to the government, so the data is limited to those projects reporting to government under an agreement act.The report estimates that the $30bn in locally awarded contracts has created more than 75,000 jobs for WA.The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry September 2012 Quarterly Business Outlook stated that manufacturing jobs in WA increased by 13,000 since September 2011. The CCI’s figures reflect the growing demand experienced by WA manufacturers.
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