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Councils are major consumers in local economics, especially in rural and regional areas. The number of First Peoples-owned businesses is exponentially growing and was worth $4.88 billion dollars in 2018. Council can play a greater role in supporting First Peoples economic development by purchasing goods and services from First Peoples-owned and run businesses. A business relationship can benefit council, First Peoples-owned businesses and the local community. It is also important for councils to be aware of Commonwealth and State Government First Peoples procurement policies and strategies to ensure that the benefits of these initiatives are extended to businesses and communities across all of the state.
The City of Melbourne has developed an Aboriginal Procurement Strategy to assist First Peoples-owned businesses supply their services to council. They set a target of 0.9% of their annual budget to be spent on goods and services from First Peoples-owned businesses over three years. The City of Melbourne has also partnered with Supply Nation to host an Aboriginal Supplier Expo that showcased a wide range of service providers including recruitment, catering, horticulture and construction. Open to all City of Melbourne employees, the expo was an opportunity for staff to meet First Peoples-owned suppliers and better understand how they might procure goods and services from them.
Aboriginal Procurement Strategy | Department of Land, Environment, Water and Planning
Indigenous Procurement Strategy | Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Procurement Strategy
Indigenous Business Fact Sheet | National Indigenous Australians Agency
Beyond Value for Money: Social Procurement for Victorian Local Government | Municipal Association of Victoria