Open for Business

Engaging in conversations that benefit my EAST WARD and all of Cockburn

Local Government - how to buy local 

Over the last 8 years I have lost track of the amount of infrastructure we have built and how many smiles I have watched in front of the camera, all the while knowing only a portion of our residents would use these facilities and very few if any, would gain employment or sub-contracting benefits.

The window of opportunity I have been waiting for

For the first time in more than 20 years the State Local Government Act is under review and I want to make sure we get the changes needed to take care of Cockburn. As it stands now buy local policies only exist in the regions however, with the LG act currently under review we can change this.  In saying that, as it stands right now our city could be requesting tenderers prove how they will purchase locally. This means even while the LG  Act is under review our city can ensure all successful external tenders purchase goods and services where feasible from our Cockburn locals. 

I have already requested a revision of our procurement policy to make this happen.

This is what WA regions look for when assessing tenders under their BUY LOCAL POLICY.

Council is committed to backing local businesses to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. 

  • Where appropriate, consider buying practices, procedures and specifications that do not unfairly disadvantage local businesses 
  • Request for quotation should be offered to local businesses in the first instance, ensuring that the policy requirements are adhered and to and value for money is achieved.
  • Consider indirect benefits that have flow on benefits for local suppliers (i.e. servicing and support).
  • Buy local suggests businesses within the city shire in first instance then regional within 100 kms in the next instance and then the open market from there on.

Referenced from the Shire of Donnybrook & Shire of Wandering

If we want big business in Cockburn to employ and buy local our council has got to lead by example. I have spoken to some of our major economic players in Cockburn about employing locally and do your know what they said?

"Nobody has every asked us" and I sensed they would jump on board if we made it easy for them.

This is what I do well, I make it easy for people to partner and make a difference. I now have a team of key stakeholders including residents ready to jump on board to mold an all inclusive local employment model.

If you thinking I'm pitching high check out what the Gold Coast Mayor is doing to support his local businesses and employment. 

Two years ago Cockburn reported jobless rates as holding steady with a .1 percent to 5.5 percent increase equating to an additional 200 residents looking for work with the highest in Beeliar 40 looking.  We were reported as saying our unemployment is lower than neighbouring Armadale and Kwinana. Well that is small comfort for our 200 unemployed residents.

Two years ago the youth centre was quoted as saying "the challenge for a number of young people is not having a connection with business owners or having someone give them a go without previous experience"

Two years ago I supported the appointment of an Economic Development Officer to be employed within the City of Cockburn. This was budgeted, advertised and never happened and guess what two years later local employment has jumped even further above the State average and we still don't have an economic development officer.

"I used to be working poor and proud, now I am not working and I am not proud" 

While we are cutting ribbons lets also commit to involving local business and Cockburn's unemployed.

Lee-Anne Smith

East Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor

Email me anytime or phone 0497 953 153


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