Industry and government procurement professionals shared tips on how to win business and gave updates on major projects in the south of the state at Procure South West conference in Bunbury last week.

Alcoa revealed details of a $90 million capital works program at the Port of Bunbury, with works expected to get underway early next year, pending final approvals.

Alcoa Bauxite Business Development Manager Ian McDonald outlined the scope of the works for the year-long project as it amps up exports of bauxite in WA. For full details subscribe to CCI’s WA Works.

Game changer for State Government procurement

Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Industry Development Manager Peter Cox ran through the key elements of the proposed Western Australian Jobs Bill 2017, which he said the State Government hoped to push thought the upper house by Christmas.

The proposal was sent to government departments and industry groups on November 23 for comment.

If passed in its current form, the legislation would see participation plan thresholds set for all state government tenders as part of the WA industry participation strategy (WAIPS).

The thresholds would vary between regional and metropolitan tenders, kicking in at $250,000 for regional tenders and $500,000 for metropolitan tenders.

“The bill, which will cover all government agencies except universities, is to maximise local benefit and will cover all forms of procurement including goods and services, works, housing etc,” he said.

“The intent of the bill is that SMEs will have better opportunity to supply government. All tenders above a threshold will need to submit a participation plan as part of their tender.”

Cox said the government hoped to launch the new way of doing business with the State Government in March 2018, to mark one year since it had been elected.

“It’s on the horizon, it’s coming. We need a tight time frame to get it up and running. It’s a game changer for the government.”

CCI is reviewing the proposal and will provide a submission to the Government. Contact Belinda Blackman on Belinda.blackman@cciwa with feedback.

Grants for SMEs

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced up to $20,000 in dollar-for-dollar grants for eligible SMEs in the south west seeking government or defence related work.

She said regional procurement is at the core of the Government’s strategy for strengthening regional communities.

“This fund will help businesses in the South-West have the best possible shot at winning government contracts.”

For more information on the grants click here.

Opportunities at Greenbushes.

Talison Lithium General Manager Pat Scallan gave an update on the $320m expansion of the Greenbushes Lithium Mine, which he said was on track for April 2019 completion.

Planning for further expansions in 2020 and 2022 were also underway.

He said a $15m shed was under construction at Bunbury Port and work packages for a $40m water treatment plant at the Greenbushes mine was expected to be released early next year.

For the full update, subscribe to WA Works.