Business people in the Central South Region are being given official encouragement to bid for a share of local, State and Federal Government contracts.
A team of Government officers led by Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Ernie Bridge will be at the Narrogin Recreation Centre on Saturday for a day-long seminar to `meet the buyers'.
Mr Bridge said today the event was part of a concerted attempt by the Western Australian Government to ensure companies in country areas enjoyed a greater share of the business generated by governments' multi-million dollar purchases.
"We estimate that each year the State Government alone spends more than $95 million on its agencies in the regions," he said.
"Yet only about a third of that money is spent with regional companies.
"If we can increase that share - and we know it can be increased - the economic benefits to local communities would be considerable."
Mr Bridge said the Narrogin seminar was designed to give business people in the Central South the opportunity to meet some of the Government officers who today make the purchasing decisions.
"Those attending will be given a briefing on how the State Government's regional purchasing preference policy works, and what companies need to do to bid for contracts," he said.
The Minister said companies which contracted to governments did have to attain high performance levels.
"But these days we can even assist businesses in meeting those demands through a series of programs offered through the National Industry Extension Service (NIES)," he said.
"During Saturday's seminar, delegates will be given details of the type of NIES assistance available including business planning, business assessment, quality assurance training, marketing planning, and assistance in design."
Mr Bridge said Narrogin had been selected for the seminar largely because of the assistance and enthusiasm of the Narrogin Town Council and Narrogin Chamber of Commerce.
The seminar will run between 10 am and 3 pm. Anyone wishing to take part should contact: Jon Berry, Department of State Development, Narrogin, telephone (098) 810 115.