Labor pledges more local jobs from public procurement in WA

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
18 April 2016

A Labor government will implement new rules on public procurement processes to increase local job creation if it is elected to govern Western Australia, its leader has vowed.

Launching the party’s Plan for Jobs party leader Mark McGowan promised to ensure that local companies got a bigger share of public contracts if elected to govern. The document pledged to reform the procurement process so that value for money, local job creation, and the diversification and growth of the WA economy were enshrined in it.

“Under my plan I will deliver more work for our local businesses, meaning more local jobs,” said McGowan. “Our Plan for Jobs will make sure local Western Australians get a bigger share of work from all government projects.”

To support this aim, the document explained that funding would be used to “revamp” the Industry Capability Network to give greater support to businesses seeking to access public contracts. In addition, the body would also be tasked with ensuring major contract bidders specify local employment opportunities and apprenticeships in their bids.

McGowan stated that under the rules the party’s proposed AUS$5.2bn Metronet project, a new rail network that would stretch across Perth in order to improve access for the outer suburbs, would be classed as a project of “strategic significance” in order to bolster the amount of local jobs created. 

In response to publication of the plan, Bill Marmion, minister for state development and finance, stood behind the government's record of creating 90,000 jobs. “The Liberal-National Party in 2000 actually introduced a local content policy and that’s the policy that has survived until today,” he said. “We have a strong plan to make sure we will create jobs in WA.”

A state general election will take place in March 2017.

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