The Devil Will Be In the Detail with the ALP's New Procurement Policy: CCIQ

Monday 21 January, 2019 | By: Dan Petrie

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has welcomed a proposal from the Federal Opposition to grant greater access to nation building projects and promotion of training programs for local businesses in regional economies.

The national procurement policy proposed by Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten seeks to provide greater access to local suppliers to bid for contracts that form part of the $50 billion spent annually by the federal government.

CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy, Kate Whittle said the policy announcement is broadly positive but the detail of the policy around how it will work, ensuring local business can confidently bid on federal government contracts and employment requirements will be the key areas of focus for industry.

“In the first instance we welcome initiatives that are going to boost local economies but caution against the possibility of additional red tape such as in the area of local labour market testing.

"There already exists significant challenges around the current labour-market testing processes where finding the right candidates and skillsets, especially in the regions is problematic.

"This is why skilled migration also needs to be part of the mix and not confused with the over-the-top rhetoric associated with temporary work visa holders.

"After businesses have exhausted all options - at a great cost - to find local talent, many are often being penalised for taking the last option available in order to grow and expand their businesses.

CCIQ welcomes the federal opposition’s commitment to working with industry groups on delivering this policy but caution against possible overreach from ‘appointed supplier advocates in key sectors such as rail and steel,’ raising questions around the possibility of unwarranted union involvement.

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