La­bor build­ing a bet­ter state with lo­cal sup­pli­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THE Queens­land Gov­ern­ment spends $ 14 bil­lion a year, buy­ing sup­plies and ser­vices. An ad­di­tional $ 4 bil­lion is in­vested each year in build­ing and main­tain­ing the state’s in­fra­struc­ture – roads, schools and hos­pi­tals.

From 1 Septem­ber 2017, my Gov­ern­ment’s new pro­cure­ment pol­icy will de­fine a “lo­cal sup­plier” as a busi­ness that main­tains a work­force within a 125km ra­dius of where the goods or work­ers are needed.

Lo­cal sup­pli­ers will re­ceive a lo­cal weight­ing of up to 30 per cent on any ten­der lodged for a sig­nif­i­cant pro­cure­ment. The pol­icy will also sets out the fol­low­ing:

• re­quire at least one lo­cal or re­gional sup­plier, and one other Queens­land based busi­ness, to be in­vited to quote or ten­der for ev­ery pro­cure­ment op­por­tu­nity of­fered;

• for sig­nif­i­cant in­fra­struc­ture projects $ 100 mil­lion and above, re­quire the use of lo­cal sub­con­trac­tors and man­u­fac­tur­ers where the lo­cal ca­pa­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity ex­ists;

• sig­nif­i­cant projects will be re­quired, where pos­si­ble, to ex­pend 15 per cent on ap­pren­tice­ships – up from the cur­rent 10 per cent;

• de­liver a more vis­i­ble pipe­line of op­por­tu­ni­ties for ev­ery Queens­land busi­ness;

• re­duce com­plex­ity to as­sist Queens­land in­dus­try pre­pare for gov­ern­ment ten­ders, and pro­vide re­sources to help them ten­der;

• ex­empt busi­ness from the pre­qual­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem for build­ing con­tracts and ICT projects un­der $ 1 mil­lion; and

• busi­nesses ten­der­ing for gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment con­tracts will need to have a per­ma­nent work­force in Queens­land. They will need to of­fer fair wages, con­di­tions and su­per­an­nu­a­tion, and have good work­place health and safety records.

Since the 2015 elec­tion, there have been 77,300 jobs cre­ated in Queens- land. Queens­land’s 414,000 small busi­nesses em­ployed 44 per cent of the state’s pri­vate work­force.

Queens­land busi­ness knows this pol­icy will work for them. Work­ing to­gether my Gov­ern­ment and busi­ness are ded­i­cated to cre­ate more jobs.

Rep­re­sent­ing small busi­nesses across our state, the Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Queens­land have said my Gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy will be an “ab­so­lute shot in the arm for small busi­ness”. In stark con­trast, the LNP does not sup­port the pol­icy and will not sup­port Queens­land busi­nesses and jobs. AN­NASTA­CIA PALASZCZUK MP,

Pre­mier of Queens­land.

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