Townsville is a service town, home to many supply chains in logistics and transport, construction, manufacturing and fabrication, education, housing, health, professional and technical services.
The Chamber actively advocates for procurement policies that deliver work tenders that are equitable and accessible to small and medium regional businesses. This year, we have focused our attention on the State’s tender process for construction projects and social services.
The State awards $1 billion of work through public work tenders every year. Some of the construction projects and social or health services on offer are for the local community, but the money awarded in the tender of a local project doesn’t always stay here. Also, some public tenders give an unfair advantage to larger organisations over Townsville small and medium businesses even if they can do the work.
This year, we met with executives from the Department of Public Works and Housing; provided feedback on the 2017 Queensland Procurement Policy; and made a submission to the State Government about the impact of procurement policies on small regional businesses.
We also held similar discussions with Council and national organisations with a local footprint.
At the core, we seek for tender processes to help develop local capabilities, and payment terms fair for small businesses.
We are very pleased with the recent appointment of one of our Board members as the only regional construction industry representative on the Procurement Industry Advisory Group (PIAG), an advisory body to the Queensland Government.
Our members tell us it is getting a little easier for a small to medium business in regional Queensland to get work through government public tenders. What do you think? What do you think we should focus our advocacy on?