705. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the
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
Will the Western Australian
government now commit to urgently changing procurement policies to boost
domestic purchasing and better support local manufacturing?
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.