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Indigenous business peak opposes changes to Victorian procurement policy


Indigenous business peak opposes changes to Victorian procurement policy
7 August 2019 – Statement from the Board of Kinaway Chamber of Commerce

The recent decision by the Victorian Secretaries Board to unilaterally change the Victorian Government’s Indigenous Procurement policy is ill-conceived and has occurred without consulting the Victorian Indigenous business community.

The decision, to include Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations (TOCs), in future calculations of the Victorian Government’s 1% Indigenous procurement, is strongly opposed by over 100 Indigenous businesses represented by Kinaway Chamber of Commerce.

We have today issued a position statement declaring the inclusion of ACCOs and TO groups in the State procurement targets as lazy policy making, driven by a need to demonstrate State adherence to national benchmarks with little thought to the consequences for an emerging Indigenous business sector.

We point out the enormous difference between for-profit businesses managed by Indigenous entrepreneurs and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and question how the Victorian Secretaries Board could have failed to note this.

We are particularly disappointed that, even as one part of the Victorian Government heralds its efforts to engage our peoples around Treaty negotiations, another key part of the Government makes critical policy decisions on the run with no input from our sector.

The Indigenous Procurement policy changes fly in the face of Victorian Government commitments to “strengthen the voice of Aboriginal Victorians”.

Our position statement calls for an urgent meeting between the Secretaries Board and the Kinaway Board and lists a series of questions for the Secretaries Board to answer.

We call on the Victorian Government to be true to its commitment to strengthening our voices, to rescind their decision and engage Indigenous business owners, including Board members of Kinaway in a co-design process.

The full Kinaway Position Statement is available here.
For more information and to arrange interviews with Kinaway Board members, Karen Milward and Kerry Arabena please contact Al Harris, MagpieMedia, on 0409658177.

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