SWDC encouraging more local hiring for South West projects

South West Development Commission acting chief executive officer Rebecca Ball and local content officer Mat Lewis at South Regional TAFE, the venue for the upcoming Procure South West event.
South West Development Commission acting chief executive officer Rebecca Ball and local content officer Mat Lewis at South Regional TAFE, the venue for the upcoming Procure South West event.

The ‘buy local’ message is getting a fresh push as the South West Development Commission works to raise awareness of opportunities for local businesses in the region through the state government’s local content officer program.

As part of a whole of state government initiative, SWDC is taking a lead role in ensuring local businesses are given the best shot at tendering for government work, while also encouraging bigger businesses to think locally when awarding contracts.

To support the program, a regional reference group has been established that comprises representatives from government and non-government organisations including business and industry groups.

Events are being added to the region’s business calendar for the purpose of giving local outfits a chance to promote what they have to offer major state government-funded projects.

The added emphasis on maximising local content complements the work already carried out by the commission to support local businesses and generate jobs.

SWDC acting chief executive officer Rebecca Ball said the commission actively worked to connect local businesses to international market opportunities through its TradeStart program.

“I am pleased that our TradeStart manager, Mat Lewis, is heading up our efforts to boost local content with the support of our team at the commission,” Ms Ball said.

“We’ll be employing a range of mechanisms to encourage government departments and state government-funded projects to take a local focus when it comes to procurement, jobs and contracts.

“What we want is more local people and businesses getting a slice of the action, and less local work going outside the region.”

Businesses are encouraged to attend an SWDC-organised information and networking session in Margaret River on Thursday, November 2 that is designed to connect local businesses to the main contractor delivering stage two of the Margaret River Perimeter Road.

Also coming up is the Procure South West event being held in Bunbury over Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25 that will include a local content officer desk.

South West residents interested in local state government job and tender opportunities are encouraged to visit swdc.wa.gov.au, which provides a portal to Tenders WA and Jobs WA.