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SA industry advocate model setting national standard

Friday, 30 June 2017

South Australia’s procurement policies and laws are setting the standard with key elements likely to be rolled out nationally.

Releasing the final report of the Federal Joint Select Committee on Government Procurement, committee chair  Senator Nick Xenophon said a national Industry Advocate  “cast on the highly successful South Australian model is urgently needed’’.

The report also includes 16 recommendations to improve rules governing the way the Federal Government spends its money. Three of those are a direct copy of South Australian policies.

He congratulated South Australian Industry Advocate Ian Nightingale who has been a champion for SA and increased the local share of jobs and content in Government contracts.

 Background

The Joint Select Committee report follows recent legislation enshrining the role of South Australia’s local jobs watchdog, the Industry Advocate, to ensure Government contracts and projects employ more local workers and materials.

The updated SA Industry Participation Policy also has a stronger focus on regional development, growth and investment attraction to the State.

Currently, local products, materials and labour make up about 80 per cent of State Government goods and services contracts and around 90 per cent of major infrastructure projects.

Since 2015,the proportion of State Government goods and services contracts awarded to South Australian suppliers has increased from 65 per cent to about 80 per cent. This increase creates an additional $230 million in annual economy activity in South Australia.

The State Budget includes a record $2.2 billion in general government infrastructure spending for this year, leading to an overall investment of $9.5 billion over the next four years. This will support an estimated 5700 jobs on average each year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

The State Government is proudly putting South Australian jobs first and this is being recognised at a Federal level. We’re backing South Australian workers and suppliers, and now we’ve given the local jobs advocate stronger powers to ensure contractors also put South Australians first.

Embedding the Industry Advocate’s role in legislation reinforces this Government’s strong commitment to securing jobs for South Australians.

In 2013, Steven Marshall promised to abolish this important role. His short-sighted approach has been exposed by Mr Nightingale’s outstanding results.