Sun. May 26th, 2024

The NSW Aboriginal Procurement Policy, which seeks to boost the number of government contracts going to companies owned by Indigenous people, is currently under review.

Aboriginal businesses in NSW are seeing the dividends of the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy with an expected five-times increase in the value of contracts in two years.

Aboriginal businesses in NSW received $92 million in direct Government contracts in 2019-20. This soared to almost $480 million in 2021-22.

The NSW Aboriginal Procurement Policy came into effect in January 2021 with the aim for Aboriginal-owned businesses to be awarded at least 3 per cent of the total number of domestic contracts for goods and services issued by NSW Government agencies

Treasurer Matt Kean welcomed the increased volume of contracts with Aboriginal businesses as proof of the collaborative approach taken by the Government with Aboriginal community leaders.

“As a signatory to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, the NSW Government is committed to driving greater partnership and shared decision-making with Aboriginal communities,” Mr Kean said.

“We’ve consistently heard the important role procurement plays in empowering Aboriginal businesses and communities and I am pleased that our Government continues to increase these opportunities.”

Minister for Finance Damien Tudehope said the policy’s success reflected the expertise and quality of the products and services provided by Aboriginal businesses in NSW.

“The Aboriginal Procurement Policy had a target of 200 contracts worth a total of $136.7 million for the 2021-22 financial year.  We can report there have been 694 contracts worth $479.6 million,” Mr Tudehope said. 

“This shows that a wide-range of government agencies are actively looking for opportunities to source goods and services from Aboriginal businesses across the state with more than 40 per cent of this spend occurring in regional New South Wales.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said a series of Meet the Buyer events have been held in local areas to connect regional Aboriginal businesses with government agencies, major suppliers and head contractors.

“More than 400 people attended the Meet the Buyer events in Nowra, Newcastle, Tamworth, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga,” Mr Franklin said.

“The events are part of the NSW Government’s commitment to supporting the growth of the Aboriginal business sector and improving access to procurement opportunities.”

“By connecting Aboriginal businesses with government buyers and listening to their experiences of working with government, we will increase the opportunity to grow the value of government contracts.”

Lindsay Sheedy from Many Fabrications and Engineering in Gunnedah said that the Aboriginal Procurement Policy has dramatically increased tender opportunities.

“The Aboriginal Procurement Policy has given us strong exposure to the top companies that we want to be working with moving forward.”

“Also, knowing that the Aboriginal Procurement Policy avidly supports Aboriginal businesses, we feel confident to invest in ourselves through the expansion of our business into a new location as well as broadening our scope of works. This will in turn, lead to an increase in local and regional employment opportunities and add to the continued growth in the Kamilaroi region.”

Aboriginal businesses and communities are able to provide feedback on the Aboriginal Procurement Policy through the Have Your Say consultation until 28 February at  https://www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal-procurement.

Contracts categories of procurement include:

·       Construction (Materials Equipment & Services)

·       Facility management

·       Human Resources

·       Medical

·       Information Communications & Technology

·       Professional Services

To view the NSW Government Aboriginal Procurement Policy please go to https://buy.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/aboriginal-procurement-policy.

Have something to say about this story? Submit your own opinion piece, or quick word, to The Net.