• Tony Bosworth

Hawkesbury tradies and companies to reap benefits from council purchases and contracts

Let’s talk about local procurement, yes I know your eyes are glazing over already, but this story is an important and an interesting one about two Hawkesbury councillors who worked tirelessly to get a policy through council to ensure local tradies and companies benefit when it comes to council purchases and contracts.

And with Hawkesbury Council one of the region’s largest employers, it’s an important step in the right direction.

Greens councillor Danielle Wheeler and her colleague - independent councillor Emma-Jane Garrow - started to push the idea of a local procurement policy after meeting with the NSW Small Business Commissioner back in 2017 who encouraged them to continue working on it.

The over-arching plan to ensure locals were the ones doing local jobs and so keeping money in their own communities, and helping other local businesses and shops to thrive, came up way back in 2016 after the Greens promised to bring in a local procurement policy to help protect local jobs and prioritise local businesses.

“It’s taken years of work with council staff but on Tuesday evening I was successful in getting this policy adopted,” Cllr Wheeler said after the full council meeting yesterday.

“Big thanks to Cllr Garrow for her support in this process - we met with the NSW Small Business Commissioner in 2017 who encouraged us to continue working on it.

“Local businesses will now be prioritised for council purchases and contracts. This is great news and part of the support for local revitalisation I have worked hard to achieve in this term of council,” Cllr Wheeler said.

At the meeting, Cllr Garrow moved a motion that council accept the new policy and councillors wholeheartedly gave it their endorsement.

Cllr Garrow told the Post, “I was so happy to move this motion for a great outcome for our community.

“Danielle started this agenda back at the very beginning of our term after she and I met with the Small Business Commissioner, and since then we’ve been pushing the agenda consistently with the help of council staff.”

It is a great outcome for local businesses and means that every time council work or purchases come up, local businesses and tradies are prioritised.

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