Water Corporation launches landmark Aboriginal engagement strategy

  • 145 per cent increase in value of Water Corporation contracts awarded to Aboriginal suppliers in 2021-22
  • 5.1 per cent of contracts awarded to Aboriginal companies – exceeding 3 per cent target; and 232 registered Aboriginal suppliers
  • New Aboriginal engagement strategy to enhance cultural intelligence, collaborative decision making, and improve the equity of water services
  • Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced that the proportion of Water Corporation contracts awarded to Aboriginal suppliers has grown for the third year in a row, as the State Government-owned utility launches a landmark Aboriginal engagement strategy.

    In 2021-22, 5.1 per cent of contracts above $50,000 were awarded to Aboriginal businesses – well ahead of the three per cent target under the McGowan Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy.

    The value of the contracts more than doubled to $34.5 million, up from $14.1 million (FY20-21) and $4.8 million (FY19-20) in the previous financial years. In the same period, Aboriginal suppliers registered with Water Corporation rose to 232 with 96 per cent being Western Australian.

    Opportunities for Aboriginal businesses and the community will be further enhanced with the development of Water Corporation’s inaugural Aboriginal engagement strategy, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, to support its external Reconciliation Action Plan.

    The co-designed and Aboriginal-led internal strategy seeks to promote and support self-determination principles, social inclusion, cultural security, and economic participation with Aboriginal people and their communities, and is believed to be among the first of its kind in Western Australia.

    Under its initial four-year implementation plan, Water Corporation has committed to 20 objectives under five key goals (Our People, Our Culture, Our Community, Our Country, and Visibility) ranging from increasing its workforce through culturally appropriate and supportive recruitment processes to addressing long-standing inequality of water and wastewater services to Aboriginal communities. Procurement processes will also be enhanced to further support Aboriginal suppliers.

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