Local MP Ian Blayney has slammed the Labor Government for overlooking local contractors to work on key parts of the Geraldton Hospital redevelopment.
Questions from The Nationals WA in Parliament have revealed that out of 22 consultancy services and two other service providers, only two – a geotechnical consultancy and a project management service – were provided by local contractors.
Mr Blayney, the Member for Geraldton, said the reluctance to use local contractors raised concerns about Labor’s priorities for WA’s regional cities.
“Knowing local contractors weren’t prioritised over those outside of the Mid West region is a tough pill for our business community to swallow,” Mr Blayney said.
“We have successful local contractors here in Geraldton who are more than capable of carrying out the consultancy services required during the hospital redevelopment but Labor have chosen to ignore these regional businesses – certainly not for the first time.
“Not only does it highlight their continued indifference towards Geraldton businesses and their blatant disregard for local families, but this decision also contradicts their ‘Buy Local Policy’ and shows they can’t be trusted to support rural and regional communities.”
Mr Blayney is calling on the Government to ensure future contractors are sourced from Geraldton and the Mid West, adding it’s now more important than ever to support local providers.
“Geraldton businesses are the lifeblood of our community and with the road to recovery post-COVID-19 being difficult for many local operators, it is crucial they have the backing from the WA Government when it comes to local contracts,” he said.
“With many struggling businesses trying to get back on their feet, it is vital the Labor Government starts injecting confidence into our business community.
“That starts with guaranteeing that local contractors won’t continue to be bypassed for local jobs.
“It’s time Labor started showing us Geraldton really matters.”