25 September 2023

New law to spearhead Indigenous clampdown

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The Minister for Indigenous Affairs has announced a strengthening of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) to crackdown on businesses allegedly resorting to ‘black-cladding’ — purporting to be Indigenous-run enterprises when, in fact, they are not.

The Minister, Senator Nigel Scullion said service provider, Supply Nation, would be given additional resources to boost its monitoring function and take action against wrongdoers.

Senator Scullion said the IPP had been “a runaway success” with more than 1,000 Indigenous businesses winning more than $1.084 billion in Commonwealth contracts since it began in July 2015, compared to just 30 Indigenous businesses winning $6.2 million in 2012-13.

“Unfortunately with such success comes those looking to do the wrong thing,” Senator Scullion said.

“Supply Nation will be given additional resources to continuously monitor the 1,600 Indigenous businesses on its Indigenous Business Directory to ensure they are, and remain, bona fide Indigenous businesses.”

He said joint-ventures had been the ideal vehicle for black-cladding in the past.

“All joint ventures will now be required to register on Supply Nation’s Indigenous Business Directory, meet a 50 per cent Indigenous ownership and control test, and have a skills capability transfer and Indigenous workforce plan in place which will be reviewed annually by Supply Nation,” Senator Scullion said.

“This will ensure Indigenous Australians are actively involved in every IPP contract and there is clear commitment to long term Indigenous economic benefit.”

The Minister also announced the creation of a new Indigenous Business and Economic Advisory Council to be made up of Indigenous businessmen and women, who would support the implementation of the measures.

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