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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3014 ..


Canberra region that may have part of their business in New South Wales. So we take a broader assessment.

I draw your attention, firstly, to the local industry participation policy. In relation to support within the budget, the single largest expenditure item is business support grants. And amongst the next largest items is the small business hardship scheme, coming in at nearly $50 million. These are the single largest expenditure items—the centrepiece of the budget, the reason the budget is in a $950 million deficit—(Time expired.)

MS CASTLEY: Chief Minister, will the government mandate extra local procurement for the large infrastructure projects so that Canberra small businesses and workers benefit?

MR BARR: For a contract that is between $200,000 and $5 million an economic contribution test must be completed and submitted, and there will be a 10 per cent default weighting in favour of local businesses submitting to tenders between $200,000 and $5 million. For a contract value over $5 million the local industry participation plan is mandatory, and there is a further 10 per cent default weighting in the evaluation process. For a contract value between $25,000 and $200,000 there is a requirement that a quote must be sought from a respondent located in the Canberra region—must be sought.

I draw the attention of members opposite to the requirements under the free trade agreement that the Australian government has signed that we must be consistent with those national and international agreements in relation to government procurement. So when Tony Abbott went off to China to do the ChAFTA and when Dan Tehan is off negotiating with the UK and the EU, free trade agreements require that there not be discrimination. That is what it is about. But, within our procurement policies, we are able to have a positive weighting in favour of local business, and we do.

Mrs Jones: Why only 10 per cent?

MR BARR: Because that is the maximum allowed under free trade agreements. I have to say that this absolute hypocrisy on trade from the Liberal Party is extraordinary to witness! (Time expired.)

Mrs Jones interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones! If I have to come to you one more time you will be warned.

MR PARTON: Chief Minister, do you agree that Canberra will miss out on huge economic benefits and jobs if the government funds out-of-town business to do these major projects?

MR BARR: No, because of the local participation policy requirements for contracts greater than $5 billion. It is inbuilt within the procurement guidelines. Even if the head contractor, which is often the case for projects $500 million or more, is indeed a


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