Developers undertaking major public sector construction projects in Tasmania would be forced to outline their plans to ensure local workers and suppliers have adequate opportunity to benefit from the development under opposition Liberal Party plans announced earlier this week.
The new policy would require proponents of public sector construction contracts worth more than $5 million to prepare and submit a Tasmanian Industry Participation Plan outlining the capacity and level of anticipated participation of local suppliers in the project as well as the benefits the project is expected to create from the perspective of the state.
Private sector developers who receive government funding of at least $500,000 would also need to submit the plans provided the value of their project was at least $5 million.
In a statement on its web site, the party said the the strategy followed similar moves in mainland states and was part of a suite of policy initiatives aimed at creating jobs and ensuring local business and workers got their fair share of government contracts and spending.
Other proposed policies in this area include the introduction of a local ‘benefits test’, disaggregation of government contracts to better enable small business to take part and a promise to slash green and red tape by 20 per cent – efforts with regard to which would be overseen by a new Regulation Reduction Coordinator.
“When taxpayers fund or contribute to a large project, they expect that the community will benefit from the development and construction as well as when the project is finished,” the party’s statement read. “TIPPs are a practical way to make sure more Tasmanians and more Tasmanian businesses are involved in local projects.”
The plan was slammed by the incumbent Labour government, which said the announcement lacked detail and would in fact add more red tape.
“Not only have the Liberals failed to identify which regulations they are going to axe, they are already proposing even more paperwork and red tape for developers,” Minister for Economic Development David O’Byrne said. “On top of that, they have so little clue as to what constitutes their own red tape policy that they are going to start up a dedicated bureaucracy to tell them what to do.”
The state election is scheduled for March 15.