Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson


    New Government policy will assist small business: Minister

    19/09/2000 2:53 PM

    Small and regional businesses will find it easier to sell goods and services to Government under a major new policy framework announced today.

    The Buy Local policy had been formulated following extensive consultation with small business owners throughout the State.

    The policy 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,” Works and Services Minister Rob 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, coupled with new advances in e-procurement systems being developed by the State Government, had the capacity to open up whole new markets to WA businesses.

    “Buy Local gives small and regional businesses a far stronger platform from which to bid for Government contracts,” he said.

    “As the policy is rolled out, we expect major flow-on effects into the regional economy and a welcome boost to many country towns throughout WA.

    “Importantly, this policy recognises the importance of small and regional businesses as the economic and social drivers of our local communities.”

    Mr Johnson will visit a large number of regional centres early next month to tell business people about Buy Local.

    Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800