Labor has failed to support Queensland small businesses, with countless examples of government contracts being awarded to interstate and overseas companies.
Only on the eve of a state election is it trying to make up for its poor record.
Significant question marks have been raised about Labor’s policy, which has started a trade war with New Zealand.
We know that procurement provides lucrative opportunities worth some $16 billion, which is why Labor should be using Queensland taxpayers’ money to support local businesses and local jobs.
It seems that Annastacia Palaszczuk is more interested in starting a trade war with New Zealand, risking investment and free trade agreements, than making the current system work better for Queenslanders.
All Labor has managed to achieve is record high electricity prices and increased red tape, making it harder to do business.
In government, the LNP laid the groundwork with its six principles for government procurement and through the Department of Small Business launched and ran a Think Queensland, Buy Locally campaign encouraging Queenslanders to buy from local businesses.
We worked with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland to get behind our local small businesses – the backbone of the Queensland economy.
We understood the benefits of shopping locally and getting value for money for Queensland taxpayers.
We also implemented a government Late Payment Policy which guaranteed that businesses undertaking work who were not paid within 30 days also got interest on the amount owed. This gave small businesses greater financial security and the policy settings to expand their operations.
OUR REAL PLAN
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will put Queensland businesses and local jobs first by making the current procurement system work better for Queensland.
We’ll take the lead on buying locally to support Queensland businesses, local suppliers and local jobs with our Buy Local Price Match Guarantee Policy. The Buy Local Procurement Plan will:
- Give priority to local contractors and suppliers through our Buy Local Price Match Guarantee policy
- Develop a Queensland goods and services procurement index
- Set Queensland Government local purchasing targets and improve the capability of Queensland businesses to win more government work, and
- Mandate a Local Content Plan for construction projects over $100 million. Local Content Plans will be assessed against how the principal contractor will increase the capability of the local contracting industry.
Our plan will provide a Buy Local Price Match Guarantee, giving local businesses bidding for tenders the opportunity to match non-local competitors on projects valued under $100 million.
For government projects, supplies and services, local small and medium sized businesses must be headquartered in Queensland and use a majority of workers who live in the region where the project is based.
We will work with the Commonwealth Government to extend this Buy Local Price Match Guarantee to large businesses headquartered in Queensland, without breaking existing free trade agreements.
Seven regions will determine eligibility for local business status:
- Far North Queensland
- North Queensland
- Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday
- Central Queensland
- Wide Bay Burnett
- Darling Downs South West
- South East Queensland
This is part of our plan to create jobs across the whole state and Build a Better Queensland.
An LNP Government will develop a Queensland goods and services procurement index to measure the level of local business purchased by Queensland Government agencies. You can’t improve something you don’t measure.
The index will be published regularly by the Department of Public Works and will provide a benchmark for improving the government’s local purchasing and give Queensland taxpayers more transparency on how their money is being spent.
Once the procurement index sets the baseline of current local content, the LNP will set local purchasing targets.
Procurement Managers will be encouraged to design procurement packages that Queensland small and medium sized businesses can deliver. Through the Department of State Development the LNP will run programs to improve the Queensland business capability and awareness about how to bid on and win government contracts.