The Territory Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to further strengthen Buy Local conditions and support job creation, today announcing Denys Stedman as the NT’s first ever Buy Local Industry Advocate.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said Mr Stedman had been appointed to provide an independent advocacy function to Government on behalf of local industry – and is part of a raft of Government reforms to support local Territory jobs.
“The Territory Labor Government came to office on the promise of creating jobs and restoring trust, and one of my priorities was to take immediate action to support local business,” Mr Gunner said.
“This is why we have implemented several significant reforms to strengthen Buy Local conditions to maximise opportunities for Territory enterprises.
“The Territory’s first ever Buy Local Industry Advocate will be charged with ensuring our businesses are provided full, fair and reasonable opportunities to compete for Government contracts - Mr Stedman’s role will be Independent.”
Mr Gunner said other changes implemented by the Territory Labor Government included:
- Requiring all capital grants to include a Buy Local condition
- Increasing the minimum weighting applied to local content in tender assessments to 30%
- That Buy Local must be driven through the whole project, not just at the top layer. This represents a major growth in support from government to local businesses.
- Other key actions and initiatives including replacing the ‘Value for Money’ definition with ‘Value for Territory’ and requiring all major procuring agencies to provide regular industry briefing sessions.
“The Territory Government will ensure a fair go for Territory business,” Mr Gunner said.
“Our Buy Local Plan seeks to ensure that the largest possible proportion of every dollar spent by the NT Government is retained within and delivers benefits for the NT economy and community.
“Supporting and enhancing the capabilities of local business and industry is fundamental to creating value for the Territory.”
The Buy Local Advocate will be a member of a reformed Procurement Review board and will head up a subcommittee of that board to focus on Buy Local Policies.
The Advocate will also be able to investigate complaints directly from industry and be able to act on their own initiative to randomly audit the awarding of contracts and the implementation of them.
If the Advocate finds breaches of the Buy Local policies the responsible agency will be required to fix those within the contract. The contractor involved will have the breach recorded. This record will be assessed when they apply for future tenders.
Additional NT Government reforms will reduce the number of procurement boards and panels from three to one with a balance of Government and Industry representation.
Due to the commencement date of Mr Stedman, January 2018, Mr Doug Phillips has been appointed as an interim Buy Local Industry Advocate.
Mr Stedman will commence in a part-time capacity, but can provide additional advice and support if required.
Anyone wishing to contact the Buy Local Advocate with concerns, can call 8999 7799 or email BuyLocal.Advocate@nt.gov.au.