- First-ever Aboriginal business forum in the Mid-West
- Event showcases Aboriginal businesses and promotes contracting opportunities
- Contracting Aboriginal businesses supports McGowan Government's Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy, Closing the Gap Implementation and Aboriginal Procurement Policy
The Mid-West's first-ever Aboriginal Business Forum kicked off today to harness opportunities and celebrate recent successes of the fast-growing sector.
Finance and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti and Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan officially launched the Geraldton event.
More than 200 people from local Aboriginal businesses, State agency buyers, head contractors and local industry attended the event to showcase their services and explore contracting opportunities in the region.
The event supports the further implementation of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy by creating potential contracting opportunities for Aboriginal businesses with State agencies. It also delivers on broader economic development opportunities with the local building industry.
As part of the McGowan Government's commitment to strengthening positive outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities, agencies and contractors are required to meet employment and subcontracting targets.
Over the first three years of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy, a total of 692 contracts have been awarded to Aboriginal businesses, at a total value of more than $475 million. Of those, 92 contracts have been awarded to Aboriginal businesses in the Mid-West, valued at over $68 million.
The Aboriginal Business Forum is designed to promote local business capacity and provide opportunities for business development, training and employment.
The forum is presented by the Mid-West Chamber of Commerce, Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation, various State and Commonwealth Government agencies and local industry.
Comments attributed to Finance and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"In recent years we've witnessed registered Indigenous suppliers grow from their hundreds into their thousands, highlighting the enormous potential for this rapidly-growing sector.
"The State Government's Aboriginal Procurement Policy has put the measurable targets on Aboriginal suppliers, and we are also seeing good results in parts of the private sector.
"By placing requirements on suppliers, the WA Government is sending a strong message that improved economic outcomes for Aboriginal people is everyone's business."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The State Government is investing in the Mid-West to support and grow our industries and create new economic opportunities.
"Central to our agenda is weaving the Yamatji community deep into the fabric of the Mid-West economy.
"This event is an excellent opportunity for the Aboriginal business sector, and the Aboriginal community more broadly, to secure work on local and government projects."
Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:
"Today the McGowan Government also announced three new rounds of the Local Capability Fund, with grants up to $50,000 available to Aboriginal businesses building their capability and competitiveness.
"The Local Capability Fund, partnered with the Aboriginal Procurement Policy, will help to further accelerate the growth of indigenous suppliers in Western Australia."
Finance and Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500