at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly (NGA) held in Canberra last week.
The motion, resoundingly supported by more than 95% of delegates, calls on both the Australian and State Governments to adopt policies that maximise opportunities for local contractors to secure the works associated with major government projects in regional areas.
As a result, the Australian Local Government Association will now join our region’s efforts by lobbying direct with National and State Governments to adjust Procurement Policy and practices to drive the requirement for the highest possible inclusion of local contractors and direct local spend in major Government contracts.
Why is this a national issue and why should this be debated at the NGA?
The primary issue relates to current Australian and State Government procurement policies and the need for those policies to facilitate local content and employment outcomes in-the regions.
It is critical, particularly where national-based Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors are engaged by those levels of Governments as prime contractors, to ensure that those contracts require local content outcomes that are measurable and accountable to evidence based milestone achievements.
Livingstone Shire Council’s submission and testimony before the Defence Senate Inquiry into Exercise Impacts on Regional Communities highlighted this issue is one of national significance which is being experienced not only in our area but across regional Australia.
The key is to ensure that the procurement policies of all levels of government are enablers for local job creation and put obligations on successful prime contractors to guarantee real local job outcomes.
Making Tier 1 and 2 prime contractors accountable will not only assist governments achieve value for money, but will also help to build the capability and capacity of Regional Queensland industries.
It is now up to Federal and State Governments to play the part by making the changes that will deliver long-term benefits such as sustainability, job creation and growth to the communities in which major government contracts are being awarded.