The Nationals WA are urging the State Government to rethink its local content policy to ensure Goldfields businesses are given preference in the construction of the MRI suite at Kalgoorlie Health Campus.
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Jacqui Boydell said she was concerned the Labor Government’s Buy Local policy had seen major regional projects gifted to Perth companies.
“The Geraldton Hospital redevelopment, construction of Esperance TAFE and fabrication of new firefighting appliances have all gone to Perth companies despite local businesses being shortlisted for the contracts,” Ms Boydell said.
“Based on Labor’s recent track record, I have grave concerns the Kalgoorlie MRI contract will also be handed to a Perth company, greatly diminishing the value of the project to the local economy.”
In Parliament today Ms Boydell called on the Government to adjust local content weighting for the Kalgoorlie MRI tender to give local companies a better chance to compete for the contract.
“This contract represents a $6.3 million stimulus to the local economy and should remain in the Goldfields region as much as possible,” Ms Boydell said.
“If awarded to a local builder it will provide local jobs, support local families and provide increased opportunities for subcontractors and apprentices in the area.
“If the project is given to a Perth builder, the majority of this important investment will remain in Perth and the Goldfields will miss out.”
Other questions asked of the Government by The Nationals WA revealed just two of the 24 service providers involved in the Geraldton Hospital redevelopment are based locally.
Ms Boydell said the growing trend of regional projects being awarded to city companies proved the case for the Buy Local program to be amended.
“I was disappointed by comments from the Treasurer in Parliament today regarding local content,” she said.
“He confirmed the State Government would always give preference to the cheapest bidder, meaning local and regional businesses unable to compete with the scale of major Perth companies will always be left out.
“A Buy Local program giving preference to the cheapest bidder and not a regional bidder should not be called a Buy Local program.”