Thursday, December 9, 2021

NSW govt doubled funds this year to promote Aboriginal businesses

The NSW Government is delivering on its promise to increase opportunities for Aboriginal businesses with an 89 per cent increase in the NSW Government’s direct spend with Aboriginal businesses in the past financial year.

The Government spent more than $173 million directly with Aboriginal businesses, almost doubling the $92 million spent with Aboriginal businesses in the 2019-20 financial year.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the improved figures coincided with the Government’s new Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP) which was introduced on 1 January this year.

The policy set targets for Government clusters in relation to spend with Aboriginal businesses.

“We are serious about increasing opportunities for Aboriginal businesses to supply goods and services to the NSW Government and the numbers are testament to that commitment,” Mr Tudehope said.

“While the NSW Government had a target to spend $59.33 million directly with Aboriginal businesses in the six months to 30 June 2021, the NSW Government spent $100.51 million with Aboriginal businesses during this period.

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“The goods and services contracts target for the same period was 102 contracts and this was exceeded, with NSW Government awarding 126 contracts to Aboriginal businesses.”

A NSW Government target aimed at supporting 3000 full-time equivalent (FTE) employment opportunities for Aboriginal people was met six months ahead of schedule, with close to 4000 FTE employment opportunities for Aboriginal people supported since 1 July 2018.

“We want to increase Aboriginal participation through employment opportunities and give Aboriginal businesses the opportunity to grow and thrive across the state while working on Government projects,” Mr Tudehope said.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said the NSW Government was committed to the Closing the Gap initiative and would continue to encourage procurement opportunities for Aboriginal Businesses.

“Aboriginal businesses are pivotal to growing our society and we want to better involve them in NSW Government work,” Mr Harwin said.

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“We know these businesses employ Aboriginal people and by selecting them as suppliers, the NSW Government is directly supporting the employment of Aboriginal people and supporting families and communities across NSW.”

The Aboriginal Procurement Policy includes:

  • A target of 3 per cent of goods and services contracts for each NSW Government cluster with Aboriginal businesses per financial year;
  • A 1 per cent target for each NSW Government cluster of ‘addressable spend’ directly with Aboriginal businesses on goods, services and construction per financial year; and
  • A requirement for suppliers to direct 1.5 per cent of the project value to support Aboriginal participation – such as direct employment, sub-contracting with Aboriginal businesses or towards the cost of education or training for Aboriginal employees – on contracts over $7.5 million.

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