Recognition of the importance of IPPPs has seen them adopted in some form by the Commonwealth Government, five of the eight state and territory governments, by many key resources firms and, more generally in the private sector, through the Business Council of Australia’s “Raising the Bar” initiative and the work of Indigenous Chambers of Commerce.
In Victoria, the state government’s ‘Social Procurement Framework’ (SPF) has been in place since 2018. The SPF includes aspects of Indigenous preferential procurement as well as some elements of mandated Indigenous employment targets applicable to all government contracts above certain values. It applies similar policies and targets to other identified groups such as social enterprises and disability enterprises. Despite this longstanding policy, the outcomes for Indigenous businesses achieved under the SPF appear to lag behind the outcomes achieved in other jurisdictions such as the Commonwealth, New South Wales, and Queensland.
It is essential that Victoria develops a nation leading Aboriginal Preferential Procurement Program that would bring both Aboriginal employment outcomes and provide additional impetus to the growth of Aboriginal economic empowerment, and the social flow on and intergenerational impacts of this.
On 24 October 2022, the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership at the University of Melbourne held a one-day seminar to discuss the role of an Indigenous Preferential Procurement Program.