NSW can follow the federal lead – Ward

The NSW government may follow the federal government's lead and alter procurement policy that could benefit BlueScope and other steelmakers. Picture: Sylvia Liber

The NSW government may follow the federal government's lead and alter procurement policy that could benefit BlueScope and other steelmakers. Picture: Sylvia Liber

In the wake of the federal government changing its procurement policy, Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward is asking NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet to do the same.

But he refuted the suggestion he was grandstanding.

“This is not grandstanding, this is putting the region’s interests first which I have always done,” Mr Ward said.

“The state government has an excellent record on procurement but I want to see us do better.

“This is not about acknowledging failure, this is about recognising there is always room for improvement.”

On Tuesday the federal government announced changes to its procurement rules to ensure that projects over $4 million need to consider the economic benefit to the Australian economy.

“I believe that we should be better utilising the talent and expertise present within our local community when it comes to the construction and development of infrastructure,” Mr Ward said.

A spokesman for Minister Victor Dominello – acting on behalf of Mr Perrottet – said they would “carefully review the new procurement policy announced on Tuesday night by the Commonwealth Government”.

The spokesman said NSW procurement policies already included “significant measures to support local industry”, including the need for a tender to show how they will support local jobs and also to comply with the relevant building standards.

“We are supporting steelworkers through our work with the Australian Steel Institute and Standards Australia to create – for the first time – an Australian Standard for the Fabrication and Erection of Steelwork,” the spokesman said.

He said this would be finalised shortly.

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