Locals hail ‘ Buy Qld’ decision
TOWNSVILLE business leaders have backed Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Buy Queensland procurement policy with some saying the Premier should have gone further.
But the policy has attracted scorn from Australia’s export council and New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay, while the State LNP called it “jumbled” and a threat to exports.
The Premier announced the policy in Townsville last week rewriting the definition of local supplier to a business maintaining a workforce within a 125km radius of where goods and services are needed, rather than from Australia or New Zealand.
Local suppliers will receive a weighting of “up to 30 per cent” on any tender lodged for a “significant procurement”.
The policy, to apply from September 1, has the potential shake out the Government’s $ 18 billion a year spend on services and infrastructure.
Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Troy Popham said their view had always been about opportunity for small and medium- size businesses to participate.
“We’d love to see the level of ( local) weighting higher,” Mr Popham said. “But we understand some of the services that need to be provided on large- scale projects just cannot be sourced locally.”
Townsville builder and Master Builders representative Adrian Gabrielli said it was a “momentous decision” and something he had been “pushing for ages”.
“Hopefully the Federal Government takes a leaf out of the State Government’s book,” Mr Gabrielli said.
“It should give a lot of regional businesses the impetus to start growing. It gives the opportunity to build residual benefits in the community and ( provide) jobs for the future.”
Town planner Steven Motti said anything that recognised the capacity of businesses in the region was good.
“Often that capacity is not recognised. Anything that shines a light on the capacity we have here is a step forward,” Mr Motti said.