South Australian small business minister Martin Hamilton-Smith is crediting the state’s Industry Participation Advocate for a near 40-percentage-point increase in the share of goods and services contracts going to South Australian suppliers.
90.2% of the value of goods and services contracts were let with South Australian suppliers in the 2014/15 financial year.
Hamilton-Smith believes the figure is thanks to the appointment of Ian Nightingale as the state’s first Industry Participation Advocate in 2013.
Nightingale’s role, and the role of his Industry Participation Policy, is to promote the use of local companies by the government and the private sector.
“The latest figures compare with just 51% in 2012/13 prior to the role being established,” Hamilton-Smith said.
“Major projects awarded under the revised Industry Participation Policy have also shown extremely strong results, with more than 90% of the sub-contracts awarded to contractors where the majority of the dollar spend is in the state.”
Hamilton-Smith said the figures showed the policy was achieving its primary goal: to support local suppliers and employers.
“These figures are a clear indication the state government’s Industry Participation Policy has been successful in creating opportunities for small businesses and this will be supported by further reforms to be put in place by the Office of the Industry Advocate.”
Local procurement is a major topic for the rail industry, with some states, such as Victoria, choosing to enforce a certain level of local production for its rollingstock orders, while other states, such as New South Wales, choose to opt for cheaper, non-local-content deals.
Changes made recently to the South Australian policy at the end of 2015 will require all government agencies to determine if there is a business in the state or region that can deliver a product or service, for all expenditure above $22,000.