New South Wales Government sells remaining stake in WestConnex and creates a new WestInvest fund for Western Sydney.
The New South Wales Government's reinvestment from the sale of its remaining stake in WestConnex is aimed at stimulating jobs and strengthening communities across Western Sydney.
This week’s announcement would likely be welcomed wholeheartedly by the small business community in Western Sydney, as the new fund will likely, at some point, translate into open tenders to be contested by the market.
WestInvest is a perfect opportunity for the government to realise its Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) and regional procurement policy objectives. By 2023, the government has committed to increasing SME participation in procurement opportunities and improve economic, ethical, environmental, and social outcomes through a range of initiatives. From 1 July 2021, all NSW Government agencies are obligated to apply the policy to all procurement activities for goods and services.
These measures will see more contracts awarded to SMEs; more participation of SMEs on large contracts; increased spend with SMEs overall and as a proportion of total government procurement expenditure.
The challenge for the government will be to pivot from a traditional procurement model that sees large established suppliers with hundreds of employees winning the lion’s share of tenders, to an innovative, agile, and digital procurement model. The latter would create the mechanism to not only measure procurement policy objectives but would be a game-changer for small businesses and the startup community.
After a prolonged lockdown that has affected most small businesses in New South Wales, it would be ideal if some of the WestInvest funds could be confined solely to the SME market in Western Sydney.
Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Jobs, Investment and Tourism and Western Sydney said that the WestInvest funding injection would be a game-changer and a catalyst for growth.
Author - Matthew Armour, Founder and CEO at Bidio.ai
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