The decision by the Western Australian Government to implement a state-wide procurement policy requiring three per cent of all contracts be awarded to Aboriginal businesses by 2020 will be a welcome boost in lifting Indigenous prosperity, improving employment and empowering our First Australians in the West.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion today congratulated WA Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Wyatt on being the latest Minister to implement a state level Indigenous procurement plan, broadly line with the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) and after recent moves in Queensland and Victoria.
“The success of the Commonwealth’s IPP has shown what can be achieved with clear leadership – since it was established at a federal level almost 1,000 Indigenous businesses have won 4,880 contracts worth $594 million, compared to just a handful winning $6.2 million in the last year of the former Labor Government.
“These Indigenous business are around 100 times more likely to hire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians than a non-Indigenous business, so the policy is directly improving employment outcomes.
“Indigenous businesses needed someone to take a chance on them and I am so glad that the Commonwealth’s leadership as the first to introduce a fair dinkum Indigenous Procurement Policy has provided a roadmap for State and Territory Governments, and the private sector, to follow.
“There has been, from time to time, some largely ill-informed criticism of Indigenous procurement policies. Importantly, all IPP contracts still have to demonstrate value-for-money meaning Government spends no more on the goods or services being procured; and by targeting Indigenous businesses who are far more likely to hire an Indigenous jobseeker we are getting more people off welfare and into work.
“It is fantastic that the jurisdictions are progressively appreciating this and I encourage all federal, state and territory agencies as well as the private sector to strongly consider using a First Nations business as part of their next contract procurement,” Minister Scullion said today.
SupplyNation Chief Executive Officer, Laura Berry, also welcomed this decision by the WA Government.
“Supply Nation congratulates the West Australian Government and strongly supports the work that is being done to grow the Indigenous business sector across the country.
“We have seen with the Federal Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy that the setting of measurable and reportable targets opens up opportunities to Aboriginal businesses. We believe that the introduction of this policy in Western Australia is likely to drive significant outcomes for Aboriginal entrepreneurs, their families and communities,” Ms Berry said today.
For more information about the Commonwealth IPP visit https://www.pmc.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/economic-development/indigenous-procurement-policy-ipp
To find a First Nations business for your next contract visit www.supplynation.org.au