Media Release: Supply Nation welcomes recommendations around Government procurement in The Forrest Review

Supply Nation welcomes significant opportunities proposed for Australia’s Indigenous business community in the Creating Parity: The Forrest Review report, presented to the Federal Government today.

The 256-page report advocates for the Federal Government to purchase at least 4 per cent of its goods and services directly from Indigenous businesses.

The report recommends that this should be implemented over a four year period, with an annual increase of 1 per cent per year. Indigenous businesses could be contracted directly or through subcontractors.

The Forrest Review also pushes for tax-free status for Indigenous run businesses.

Supply Nation CEO Charles Prouse was among those in attendance at the handover.

“Supply Nation welcomes recommendations that Australian Government departments should give focus to Indigenous business in their procurement processes,” Mr Prouse said.

“We intend to continue working closely with the Government to unpack the impact of this recommendation.

“It will not be a quick or straightforward process. Nonetheless, Supply Nation believes it is a surmountable challenge and one which would ultimately reap success and support the growth of the Australian Indigenous business sector.

“Supply Nation currently has 276 Indigenous businesses in varying industries represented on our database.  We are ready and willing to work closely with Australian Government departments to make this procurement recommendation a reality,” he continued.

Another recommendation within the Creating Parity report focuses on the establishment of a ‘Top 200 Employers’ policy.

This recommendation states that the Federal Government should provide the top 200 companies in Australia, with a strong Indigenous employment record, with tailored contracts to increase the proportion of Indigenous employees within their workforce.

Mr Prouse believes this recommendation should be expanded upon further to incorporate increased Indigenous procurement targets for the top 200 companies in Australia.

“The implementation of this recommendation would provide a positive boost to Indigenous employment rates," he said.

"In addition, I believe we should take it a step further by implementing measurable procurement targets for Australia's top 200 corporate organisations.

"They should be striving to match their Government counterparts with 4 per cent of their contracts procured to Indigenous businesses, " he concluded.

The Government will spend six weeks consulting with the community about the recommendations within the report.

An 'Implementation Feasibility Task Force' has been set up within Prime Minister Abbott's department, which is due to deliver its final report in October.

To read the report in full please visit:http://indigenousjobsandtrainingreview.dpmc.gov.au/summary-recommendations