New Aboriginal job, spend targets for State contracts

Suppliers on some WA Government contracts will be required to meet Aboriginal employment targets for the first time following an update to the State’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy.

The policy, which currently prescribes targets for percentage of government contracts to be awarded to Aboriginal businesses, will also be broadened to include spend targets for Aboriginal subcontracting on government projects.

The updates mean suppliers will have a contractual obligation to meet an Aboriginal employment target or an Aboriginal subcontracting target from January 1, 2022.

The Aboriginal employment targets are based on region by region demographics and are measured as a percentage of the total contract workforce:

  • 10 per cent for Pilbara and Kimberley;
  • 5 per cent for Gascoyne, Mid-West and Goldfields-Esperance;
  • 2 per cent for Perth metropolitan area, South-West, Great Southern, Peel and Wheatbelt.

The subcontracting targets – measured as a percentage of total contract value – will increase from 3 per cent in 2021-22, to 3.5 per cent in 2022-23 and 4 percent in 2023-24.

The new requirements will apply to goods, services, and works contracts valued at $5 million and above advertised from 1 January 2022 within the industries of:

  • construction:
  • community services;
  • education and training; and
  • public administration and finance.

Finance Minister Tony Buti said: “The intent of the Aboriginal Procurement Policy is to ensure we can build the capacity of Aboriginal businesses in WA so that opportunities get bigger over time.”

CCIWA is urging the State Government to monitor outcomes of the new policy over time to ensure it does not cause undesirable unintended consequences – for example, disadvantaging aboriginal businesses that are unable to find enough aboriginal employees to meet the targets.

For further practical guidance see the Aboriginal Procurement Policy Supplier Guide. The full revised Policy and full suite of guides are available on wa.gov.au.

The Department of Finance has encouraged businesses to attend supplier information sessions on the new requirements.

To be sure you are working with an authentic Aboriginal businesses, a list of those operating in WA can be found at CCIWA’s Aboriginal Business Directory.

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