The Western Australian government has updated its landmark Aboriginal Procurement Policy, with increased targets for contracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses.
When the policy was first introduced, WA government agencies that were purchasing goods, services, community services and works were required to award just 1% of contracts to Aboriginal businesses. A total of 533 government contracts worth more than $379 million were awarded to Aboriginal businesses between the commencement of the original policy on July 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020.
The new version of the policy, which has come into effect this month, has set a target of 4% by 2023-24. Government agencies are currently required to award 3% of contracts to Aboriginal businesses.
Finance minister Tony Buti said the McGowan government would continue to consult with the Aboriginal business sector and key stakeholders to find ways to increase the policy’s impact.
“The policy will continue the momentum in supporting growth of the Aboriginal business sector,” he said on Tuesday.
“We want to build on the success and continue to support the Aboriginal business sector with the three-year extension and increased targets. The policy provides a great opportunity to leverage government’s buying power to achieve improved social outcomes for our Aboriginal community.”
The new policy document features artwork by YirraKurl, a Noongar Aboriginal business operated by Deborah Newenham-Coertse and Melissa Spillman.
The Department of Finance commissioned the artwork to mark the new phase of the policy. The Aboriginal painting is a ‘vibrant representation of the policy objectives and the economic opportunities it creates for Aboriginal communities’, the WA government said.
The government noted that the third Aboriginal Business Expo is expected to be held in late 2021, to further build connections between government and the Aboriginal business sector.