The Australian Labor Party wants to increase the number of local companies that win contracts to supply the approximate $50bn worth of federal government contracts that are available each year.
At a press conference in Maryborough, Queensland, Labor leader Bill Shorten said he wanted to place more emphasis on getting local and small businesses lucrative government contracts.
Value for money would still be the key criteria for government expenditure, a Labor government would require its departments to work with local firms that could benefit from taxpayer-funded contracts. Shorten said he also strongly disagreed with the notion that Australian companies couldn’t be just as competitive as overseas businesses.
Under the opposition’s proposal, companies bidding for government projects worth more than $10m will be required to develop a local jobs plan if Labor is elected.
Public and large private projects over $250 million would have to ensure local firms were provided with a fair opportunity to win work.
Rohan Webb, State Secretary of the AMWU QLD/NT said this morning, “The AMWU has always campaigned hard for strong local procurement policies. We know that when you invest in secure local jobs, the whole community benefits.”
They would also be compelled to put in place an “Australian Industry Participation” plan to open up opportunities for jobs in key sectors such as rail and steel.
National Procurement Policy would mean more apprentices
A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a National Procurement Policy that will also require one in 10 workers on major projects to be apprentices from the local area.
Listen to the live announcement below from Labor leader Bill Shorten and Kim Carr, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.