State-Wide Network Group advocates to keep opportunity in our regions
Posted on August 25th, 2020
Capricorn Enterprise strongly advocates for “local content” and as a proactive Member of the Queensland Local Content Leaders Network (QLCLN) we support the Network’s recommendations on the subject “what is local” which follows approximately eighteen months of independent research on the subject.
Keeping it in the Regions: A better practice model for local content and defining local business was developed in response to the 2018 House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry into mining and resource industry support for businesses in regional economies.
Queensland Local Content Leaders Network (QLCLN), a network of business, industry groups and local government representatives across Queensland resources communities, have developed a response to a key recommendation.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO, Mary Carroll said the House of Representatives Committee recommendation included a need to clearly define ‘local’, especially as we enter an extremely positive era with more than $4.5 billion of infrastructure projects on the horizon.
“Based on extensive, independent research, the QLCLN model recognises that a local business comes in many forms and is not only a long-term physical presence in a region,” Mary said.
“QLCLN believe a better definition of a local business ‘…as those businesses making a ‘significant contribution’ to local economic activity’, including businesses which have a significant physical presence in the local area and businesses which are not owned locally but provide goods, services and labour that are primarily produced or supplied within the local area.”
QLCLN developed a new six-tiered model of procurement where the priority is on the immediate local or natural economic zone of a region.
Neil Lethlean, Regional Economic Development Manager for Capricorn Enterprise said that the model identifies that the priority should always be local first.
“For large purchases in regional Queensland, providing local content opportunities can seem initially challenging. The QLCLN report shows that there are no excuses if you have engaged with the local community and regional economic zones to ensure small and medium sizes businesses in regional areas get a fair go.”
“This model moves the emphasis firmly onto local and regional economic zones to ensure small and medium sizes businesses in regional areas get a fair go,” Neil said.
The key findings include building local business capability and capacity, which is key in driving positive regional development outcomes.
“By focussing effort on building business supply chain capacity as part of local procurement policies, governments and businesses are contributing to a sustainable cycle of regional economic development,” Neil said. “This new layered definition of local shows that if goods or service are not available in locally, how to shift the focus to regional area nearby.”
QLCLN aims to maximise regional spend from major private and public projects, which is paramount to driving investment and economic prosperity in Queensland’s regions.
“The network’s role is to collaborate and partner with industry to deliver full, fair and reasonable opportunities for capable local businesses to participate in all aspects of the local supply chain,” Neil said.
The group is now calling on the State and Federal Government to consider adoption of this model.
“We urge the State and Federal Government to understand the importance of this model and for it to be incorporated for government led procurement projects, embedding this model into licensing agreements of major mining projects,” Neil said.
Queensland Local Content Leaders Network is made up of 15 state wide industry and business groups, local government representatives and key industry partners, with the economy advocacy group working to maximise the local benefit of projects.
This research culminated in a QLCLN position paper, which is available here for download: www.qlcln.com.au