A presentation from South Australian Industry Advocate Ian Nightingale at the recent Spencer Gulf Cities meeting has encouraged the region’s leaders to focus on giving local businesses stronger work opportunities.
Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Whyalla councils aim to boost the local economy through contracts and spending.
Mr Nightingale has worked with state agencies, local councils and privately-owned projects that have received state government funding, encouraging them to consider businesses in the Upper Spencer Gulf for work.
Through the South Australian Industry Participation Policy, Mr Nightingale’s role involves delivering economic benefit through public procurement across the supply chain, including industries such as manufacturing, assembly, installation and supply of goods and services.
Mr Nightingale said a significant benefit in job creation and economic activity has already been demonstrated through the policy.
“It doesn’t mean local businesses will automatically receive a contract. They still have to prove they can meet the requirements around workplace health and safety, quality and price,” he said.
“However, the policy will mean that local businesses are front of mind for quotes or tenders whenever public money is to be spent on goods and services.”
Meeting Chair and Port Pirie Mayor John Rohde said the group would look to hire a specialist procurement expert in order to progress several joint operations across the three councils.
The initiative will also consider how council spending can better stimulate local economic development in the region, including adopting the economic participation principles set out by the industry advocate.