New quota aims to increase Aboriginal jobs in government projects
The State Government has announced a new policy which will mandate more Aboriginal employment in the Mid West.
The Aboriginal Procurement Policy was introduced in 2018, and stated 3 per cent of all tenders must go to Aboriginal businesses. The recent update means, from 2022, a certain percentage of the total workforce on government tenders worth more than $5 million must be Indigenous people.
The percentage required differs between regions, based on demographics — 5 per cent in the Mid West, 10 per cent in the Pilbara, and 2 per cent in Perth and the South West. Finance Minister Tony Buti said some government agencies, such as Main Roads, were already exceeding these targets on some projects.
“The intent ... is to ensure we can build the capacity of Aboriginal businesses in WA so that opportunities get bigger over time,” he said. Those awarded government contracts can chose between pursuing the total workforce quota, or subcontracting to Aboriginal-owned businesses.
“In this instance, 3 per cent of the value of the tender must go to one or more Aboriginal-owned businesses.
The 2016 census found the Aboriginal employment rate in WA had dropped by about 7 per cent since 2006. Compared with the national employment rate of 61.2 per cent, only 40 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in WA were employed.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson said he hoped this change would deliver “real jobs on the ground for Aboriginal people”.
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