Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman made the point in Parliament that the recently tabled McGowan Labor Party’s Jobs Bill is full of rhetoric but lacks substance.
Mr Redman also stressed that the Royalties for Regions initiative had included significant regional investment that made a difference to job creation, and that employment opportunities are now lost with recent cuts to the program.
“What this government has done to Royalties for Regions will have a far greater impact on jobs in regional Western Australia than this Bill will ever create,” Mr Redman said.
“The government has brought in a Jobs Bill, saying that it is all for jobs in Western Australia, but it took out half the money that was creating those jobs in regional Western Australia.”
Mr Redman emphasised the need to ensure legislation was well thought-out to maximise opportunities for local companies to competitively tender for contracts and to employ local people.
“It is hard to put a monetary value on local or regional benefit when comparing tenders, as the aim is to support local businesses and at the same time guarantee value for money.”
It would be useful if legislation included targets that support regional and sub-regional businesses, to ensure as many contracts as possible are awarded to Western Australian businesses.
The introduction of tiered thresholds that see low-cost contracts require a lower level of compliance makes sense, and enables smaller businesses to submit a tender without the need to engage a tender-writing specialist. This means money is more wisely invested in projects and not bureaucratic systems, and it is more likely a local business will be successful in winning a contract.
The Nationals WA will support the McGowan Labor Party Jobs Bill, but want to see more rigour in the detail so that loopholes are not exposed that result in contracts being awarded to companies outside of the State, and jobs being lost to Western Australians.