Hardly a week goes by without the NSW Government announcing a major infrastructure project or services coming to Western Sydney – supposedly bringing wealth and employment opportunities to businesses and people in the West.
However, questions are being asked about whether these announcements will result in any real benefit if you are a small or medium-sized enterprise or business owner, operator or local in Parramatta or further out west.
The pub test in the SMSE community suggests there is little economic flow-on from Government projects through a failure to contract or even engage with truly local businesses in Western Sydney.
NO REQUIREMENT OR TARGET TO USE LOCAL BUSINESS
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s big spend is on big business which to some extent might be needed for sizable projects and services, but where is the requirement for the State and these large firms to at least meet a basic target for using local small and medium sized businesses to keep some of wealth and employment in the West?? There is none!!
Talk to Western Sydney business owners and it becomes apparent that even the Government’s own ‘prequalified’ preferred supplier scheme seems to always prefer businesses based in the Sydney CBD or eastern suburbs – even if the services required are in the West. Of course, the bigger the business, the more likely you are to be contracted.
The Premier should realise Sydney’s second city of Parramatta for instance does have a huge array of professional and trade business services, suppliers of goods and products, and more. Using local firms for marketing, communications, accountancy, legal, human resources, printing, graphic design, vehicle maintenance, security and much, much more will leave a much greater legacy for people in the West than those who operate from the Sydney CBD or overseas.
Western Sydney businesses are the life-blood of commerce and employment for local people. They should at least be part of the spend in their backyard.