'Australian government should buy 4 per cent of goods and services from indigenous firms'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
19 August 2014

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19 August 2014 | Will Green

The Australian government should work towards purchasing at least 4 per cent of goods and services from businesses with a minimum 25 per cent indigenous ownership, according to a report.

The Forrest Review, commissioned by the Australian government and carried out by philanthropist and businessman Andrew Forrest, contains a number of recommendations to “eliminate disparity and the high barriers to employment entry” for “first Australians”.

The report said the government should reach the target over four years, with an annual increase of 1 per cent, with progress towards the goal published.

The review also said bidders for government contracts should detail strategies to engage first Australians and minimum levels for first Australian employees should be set and included in evaluation criteria.

Forrest said: “It is critical that the Commonwealth [government] work collaboratively with its state and territory government counterparts to end the disparity, using every lever described in this review now available to them, and driving accountability for results with transparent reporting.”

The wide-ranging report also includes measures to improve early childhood, education and housing, and reduce welfare dependency, among indigenous people.

A consultation on the report is now under way and runs until 20 September.

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