02/12/2009 - 10:54

New policy helps small road contractors

02/12/2009 - 10:54

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The state government has instructed Main Roads to change its contracting policy so that smaller companies have more opportunity to bid for roadworks contracts.

The state government has instructed Main Roads to change its contracting policy so that smaller companies have more opportunity to bid for roadworks contracts.

Transport Minister Simon O'Brien has instructed Main Roads to ensure that contracts worth a minimum of $20 million per annum were made available to local small businesses although all competing firms, regardless of size, will be required to participate in a tender process.

"The existing arrangement significantly diminished the opportunity for smaller contractors to get work," Mr O'Brien said.

Mr O'Brien said Main Roads' own figures indicated that since 2005 only four contracts in the R1 prequalification category (up to $4 million value) were put to public tender.

"The future viability and effectiveness of our road construction industry is heavily reliant on the ability of the small-medium contractors getting the opportunity to participate in the market and having the opportunity to grow their skills and capacity," he said.

 

Full announcement below:

 

Supporting small business a key State Government priority.

The Liberal-National Government is supporting local jobs by ensuring that small businesses have improved opportunities to tender for Main Roads WA road construction contracts.

Transport Minister Simon O'Brien said that he had instructed Main Roads to ensure that contracts worth a minimum of $20million per annum were made available to local small businesses.

"Supporting local jobs is a key priority for the State Government," Mr O'Brien said.

"Strategically, this is an important step to cater for the road building industry's short-term efficiencies and long-term sustainability. This new policy will not circumvent a tender process because small firms will still be required to compete for work on merit."

In recent years, the number of smaller individual contracts has reduced in favour of large works packages, where many smaller works programs were grouped together, inevitably resulting in the success of big national and multi-national contractors.

"The existing arrangement significantly diminished the opportunity for smaller contractors to get work," the Minister said.

"Small, locally-based construction companies, many of which are based in regional Western Australia, felt they were shut out of the process. They don't want special treatment but a level playing field and I am pleased to be able to deliver this to them."

Mr O'Brien said Main Roads' own figures indicated that since 2005 only four contracts in the R1 prequalification category (up to $4million value) were put to public tender.

"The future viability and effectiveness of our road construction industry is heavily reliant on the ability of the small-medium contractors getting the opportunity to participate in the market and having the opportunity to grow their skills and capacity," he said.

The actual amount of the works each year will be determined by industry capacity and availability of funding with the choice of projects in the $20million annual package overseen by the Main Roads Infrastructure Delivery Committee. This will direct industry input via the WA Road Construction and Maintenance Industry Advisory Group.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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