Hardworking regional businesses would be locked out of State Government works contracts, costing them hundreds of millions, if Liza Harvey’s Western Australian Liberals ‘local jobs guarantee’ was introduced.
Under Liza Harvey’s flawed policy, businesses would not be given preference for work on projects greater than 125kms away from their headquarters.
This would lock out regional businesses from winning big infrastructure projects planned for the city and has the potential to lock businesses out of work in their own region and across other regions.
The McGowan Government has done more than any other Government in history when it comes to creating jobs for locals on State Government contracts.
In 2018, the McGowan Government passed the Jobs Act, which ensures local companies and local workers are prioritised on State Government infrastructure projects and services.
The Jobs Act ensures prospective State Government contractors and suppliers are required to submit a participation plan that outlines their commitment to prioritise local workers, and enter into supply contracts with WA’s small and medium businesses.
The McGowan Government has also established the WA Industry Link online portal to help Western Australian businesses to tender for government contracts and local content advisors have been employed throughout regional WA to help local businesses to take advantage of government contracts in their region.
Earlier this year, the McGowan Government also unveiled the new and improved WA Buy Local Policy 2020, giving regional businesses a stronger weighting than those outside their region for local works.
Western Australian businesses have shared in over 260 contracts valued over $50,000 outside their region awarded by the Finance Minister since July 2018 worth an estimated $202.2 million.
Since July 2018 regional businesses have been awarded over 40 contracts valued over $50,000 outside their region by the Finance Minister worth an estimated total of more than $22.6 million.
This only represents works contracts awarded by the Department of Finance. The full cost of the WA Liberals policy on regional businesses would be far greater when accounting for all Western Australian Government contracts.
Under Liza Harvey’s policy the following regional businesses awarded contracts since July 2018 by the Finance Minister for projects in Perth would be locked out:
- Mid-West business Crothers Construction Pty Ltd – for works with Child and Adolescent Health Service and Department of Education worth $64.2 million; and
- South-West business Perkins Builders – for works on the New Armadale Courthouse and Police Complex worth $61.7 million.
As stated by Finance Minister Ben Wyatt:
“In eight years in office, Liza Harvey and the Liberals did not see fit to try and put local jobs first.
“Ms Harvey and the Opposition were those responsible for moving railcar manufacturing and fabricating works for the Matagarup Bridge overseas.
“When Mike Nahan was in charge he called to scrap Royalties for Regions and now Liza Harvey has introduced a policy that adversely penalises hardworking regional businesses.
“Under the McGowan Government regional companies have been successful in bidding for work in Perth. This will not be possible under the WA Liberals policy.
“The WA Liberal policy will also lock regional businesses out of bidding for work in other regions of WA.
“The McGowan Government’s Jobs Act has been very successful, with thousands of jobs going to local WA businesses that could have otherwise gone east.
“It has supported more than 22,300 local, Western Australian jobs – including more than 1,400 apprenticeships and traineeships.”