Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has welcomed the announcement that local industry will have more opportunities to participate in major Defence infrastructure projects as part of a pilot program announced today.
The Local Industry Capability Plan pilot will ensure that Capricornia businesses have the best possible opportunity to be involved in the Turnbull Government’s unprecedented investment in Defence capability over the next decade, including upgrades to Shoalwater Bay.
The framework will be piloted by three projects that will go to market in the next few months and will include the $135 Million Shoalwater Bay Training Area Redevelopment, a substantial infrastructure upgrade to support a range of new land combat and amphibious warfare capabilities.
“As we learnt yesterday at the Major Contracts Forum, upcoming Defence investment will be a game changer for our region, but local businesses want to know they will see a direct benefit and will receive priority consideration,” Ms Landry said.
“When the Shoalwater Bay Military Upgrade was announced, I promised our business community that I would be fighting to make sure that local industry would benefit,” she said.
“Under this program, our government will be delivering on that promise and I thank Minister Payne for her efforts in releasing this pilot program.
“Under the program, tenderers bidding for major capital facilities projects will have to state clearly how they have engaged with local industry in providing their tendered solution, and how local industry will specifically be involved in delivering the work packages that underpin the project.
Ms Landry urged local businesses wanting to tender to start preparing and understanding how the tender process for defence contracts work.
“A broad range of products and services are required, but working with defence can be complex.”
“I cannot stress enough how important it is for local businesses wanting to contract to the military to get prepared by working through Managing Contractors, or Primes as they are sometimes called,” she said.
The pilot projects will inform the development of a Defence Industry Participation Policy the Minister for Defence will release in the first half of 2018. The Policy will provide a more consistent approach to maximising Australian and local industry involvement in Defence procurement of $4 million and above, recognising that Defence procures a range of different equipment, services, and support across many sectors of the Australian economy.
Capricorn Enterprise Economic Development Manager Neil Lethlean has welcomed the new direction being taken to engage local capability in future upgrade works at Shoalwater Bay military training Area, committing resources of Capricorn enterprise to ensure that regional businesses are well qualified to engage in future ADF work packages.
Chairman of the Capricornia Business Advisory Alliance Grant Cassidy said “Minister Payne is to be congratulated and fully supported for her strong position for local regional businesses and their collective capabilities being recognised in this pilot program.
As was heard first hand yesterday at the Capricornia Major Projects forum, local SME’s add valuable capabilities, skills and knowledge to the larger Tier One Managing Contractors to assist them delivering value for money project outcomes for the Federal Government.
I am sure our local Central Queensland businesses will stand united behind Minister Payne and local member Michelle Landry in applauding and fully supporting this trial to ensure it is successful so it can then be rolled out permanently in all future Defence projects.”
Ms Landry said that the Government will also be undertaking to maximise local industry involvement by changing the way Managing Contractors sub-contract.
“Under this approach, buildings or work elements may be tendered separately, rather than by individual trade,” Ms Landry said.
“The initiative will trial the use of smaller ‘work packages’ for the upcoming Larrakeyah Redevelopment and if successful, I will be pushing this to be included in the Shoalwater Bay expansion.”
Further information for businesses hoping to tender for projects can be found at business.gov.au/cdic and Capricorn Enterprise is offering members additional support