Aboriginal Contracts on a healthy curve

The State Government continues to boost the number of contracts it awards to Aboriginal businesses, with the figure growing for a third year in a row.  The Government’s latest procurement policy report revealed it handed out 284 contracts worth more than $136 million to 114 Indigenous businesses in 2020-2021 – up 21 per cent from the previous year.

The contracts covered work in maintenance, construction, human resources, cleaning, community and social services. Goldfields-Esperance building project management company Ngaanyatjarra Services (NG Council) was among the Aboriginal businesses awarded contracts, with more than $400,000 committed to the company to refurbish several schools north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Ngaanyatjarra’s general manager Thomas Williams said the policy opened opportunities for Aboriginal businesses to deliver government contracts and provide additional training.

“We’ve successfully facilitated Aboriginal apprenticeships in carpentry, electrical and plumbing and currently we’ve got a mature-age plumbing apprentice from the town of Tjukurla,” he said.

The Government has pledged to ensure a set percentage of contracts, to increase annually, are granted to Aboriginal businesses. The figure reached in 2020-2021 was 6.5 per cent, more than doubling the 3 per cent target for the year.