New Government policy will assist regional and small business: Minister [audio]

20/09/2000 10:45 AM

Works and Services Minister Rob Johnson is urging regional and small business people to participate in a series of forums on the State Government’s new Buy Local policy.

Mr Johnson said it was vital that people found out how the policy worked so they could maximise new opportunities to do business with Government.

The policy was formulated following extensive consultation with small business owners throughout the State.

It is an Australian first, with Western Australia becoming the only State to use Government buying to assist small business and regional economies.

“I want to see a substantial proportion of the $4.6 billion spent annually by Government agencies on goods and services ploughed back into local businesses and their communities,” Mr Johnson said.

“This policy really levels the playing field for smaller businesses because it provides greater flexibility in the assessment of contract costs.”

The Buy Local policy, for the first time, imposes on Government agencies a minimum local purchasing target.

Government department heads will be required to source at least 70 per cent of their goods and services locally wherever practicable.

Government Trading Enterprises have not been exempted from Buy Local.

The new policy also ensures that:
  • whole-of-life costs, local business capability and the benefits of contracting with local businesses are given more weight in the consideration of contracts;
  • the regional price preference is changed to a regional business preference, which reflects the intent of the policy more clearly; and -
  • more emphasis is placed on the obligations of contract managers to ensure contractors meet their buying local commitments.

Mr Johnson said the policy would be officially launched in Kalgoorlie on October 3, with a series of forums in other regional and city centres to follow.

He said it was vital that small business people and government agency representatives acquainted themselves with the policy.

“The forums give people an opportunity to ask questions and clarify any aspects of the policy they are unsure about,” the Minister said.

“It is important that people understand Buy Local so that they make the most of the many opportunities this new policy affords.”

Buy Local forums will be held in the following locations:

KalgoorlieOct 3Tower Hotel8.45am
EsperanceOct 3Esperance Civic Centre1.00pm
AlbanyOct 3Esplanade Hotel4.30pm
BunburyOct 4Lighthouse Beach resort11.30am
GeraldtonOct 4Shire of Greenough Chambers5.00pm
KarrathaOct 5Karratha College12.30pm
BroomeOct 5Mangrove Hotel6.15pm
KununurraOct 6Mercure Hotel11.30am
PerthOct 13City West Function Centre8.00am
KatanningOct 20Kimberley Lodge8.00am
MandurahOct 26Atrium HotelNoon
NorthamOct 27Shamrock Hotel11.30am

For more information about the forums, or to make a booking, phone the State Supply Commission on (08) 9222 5700 or toll free 1800 806 599.

Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800

“This policy is a national first - the first time an Australian State has used Government buying to assist small business and regional economies.”

“Buy Local represents the kind of policy direction that will strengthen the foundations of our regional communities and sustain confidence in their future.”