Information workshop on contracts

A FEDERAL government-supported information session designed to help local firms compete for key government contracts has been held in Tamworth.

The workshop was presented jointly by a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) representative, assisted by Australian Steel Institute NSW manager Phil Casey.

Mr Casey said it was held to help local small- to medium-sized manufacturing and fabrication businesses navigate key requirements to prequalify for government development works and mining project packages.

With the downturn in the traditional building market segment, there was a relative increase in larger works projects that had a greater emphasis on risk mitigation and compliance, he said.

“But regional small- to medium-sized enterprises commonly steer clear from tendering for major public works contracts in the belief that they lack the resources to satisfy prequalification requirements, even though they may already have many of the requisite financial, health and safety, quality and environmental management systems in place,” Mr Casey said.

He said the overall program was being rolled out to 20 regional locations across Australia by the Australian Steel Institute and was funded by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. 

The workshop aims to stimulate more local input to public projects which provides a win-win in terms of supporting more jobs in regional Australia, while helping to lower project risk and costs, through benefits such as less transportation, more site-specific knowledge and local collaboration.

All participants received a copy of the prequalification guidance booklet, which was developed by the Australian Steel Institute in conjunction with NSW and Queensland state transit authorities and national engineering, procurement and construction management company WorleyParsons.

Mr Casey said NSW sessions held earlier this year generated a three-fold increase in prequalified fabricators on RMS books, of which many have already won work packages.

Contact the Australian Steel Institute on 9931 6606.

The prequalification guidance document can be downloaded from www.steel.org.au/key-issues/fabrication-competitiveness/fabricator-documents

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