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Merri-bek Council’s new procurement targets helping close the gap for First Nations business (media release)

08 Dec 2021

8 December 2021

Moreland Council have set new goals to increase economic opportunities for First Nations businesses over the next four years.

The changes to the Merri-bek Procurement Policy 2021 – 2025 set a new target to increase First Nations Procurement expenditure to one per cent by 30 June 2025.

Moreland Council have commenced working with Kinaway, an Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, to identify genuine opportunities to partner with First Nations businesses and are committed to streamlining engagement and encouraging increases in the capacity of this sector.

The changes also introduce a Council Procurement exemption, allowing Council to directly appoint suitable First Nations businesses for engagements less than $300,000 where value for money opportunities are observed.

Moreland Mayor Councillor Mark Riley said the changes acknowledge the disadvantages faced by First Nations people.

“We are aiming to directly support growth of First Nations businesses here in Merri-bek, with a flow on positive effect on the broader First Nations community.

“Supporting First Nation businesses is just one way we can help close the gap of existing disadvantage.”

The change will align the Merri-bek Procurement Policy with best practice, demonstrated in the Australian Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) December 2020, a policy administered by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA).

These changes build upon the commitments to support First Nations businesses already outlined in the Merri-bek Procurement Policy 2021 – 2025. These are to ensure relevant Council staff undertake cultural safety training, increase employment of local First Nations suppliers, subcontractors and businesses.