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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 705 asked in the Legislative Council on 25 June 2020 by Hon Charles Smith

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 25 June 2020

PROCUREMENT POLICIES

705. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Treasurer:

I refer to the coronavirus pandemic and the increasingly belligerent actions of Communist China showing the serious weaknesses and vulnerabilities in Australian supply chains and industry capability.

Will the Western Australian government now commit to urgently changing procurement policies to boost domestic purchasing and better support local manufacturing?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

The Western Australian government recently implemented procurement changes for goods and services contracts to give Western Australian businesses a boost during the pandemic and into recovery. The procurement changes for goods and services include: allowing agencies to purchase direct from a local business up to $250 000, which is a $200 000 increase on the current limit; lifting the threshold for public tender processes up to $500 000 when at least one local business has been identified as capable of delivering the required good and/or service, which is an increase of $250 000; enabling agencies to obtain written quotations between $250 000 and $500 000 when one or more local businesses can supply; and allowing agencies to extend government contracts with local businesses for up to two years to give businesses certainty. These changes will be reviewed in December 2020.

The introduction of the Procurement Bill 2020 was declared urgent to support similar measures being consistently rolled out across government for works contracts. Since 2017, the Western Australian government has made it a priority to commit to the review and reform of procurement policies to increase sourcing from local suppliers that generate business activity and employment. Examples of this include the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 and the associated Western Australian industry participation strategy, the current review of the Buy Local policy and the aforementioned introduction of the Procurement Bill 2020.