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Local contractors' concerns vindicated

Friday, 8 February 2013
Author: Kevin Naughton, Indaily

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FOR years, local businesses have complained that too much government contract work has gone to interstate companies.

Their complaints have been met with two responses - one, the government is required to get best value for money and that doesn't allow for local preference, and two, it's not as bad as you say.

This week in State Parliament the concerns of local contractors were confirmed, buried in a statement announcing the appointment of an Industry Participation Advocate.

The advocate's job will be to ensure local businesses reap the maximum economic rewards from major government projects.

The statement appeared to go through to the keeper and its relevance only became clear when Manufacturing Minister Tom Kenyon explained further at the end of parliament's question time.

"This is a response to an increase in the value of contracts being awarded to interstate companies at the expense of local companies," Kenyon said.

After spruiking the State Government's sudden concern for this problem, Kenyon detailed the slippage in local work.

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