Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup calls for Peel businesses to have preference in local tenders

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup issued a parliamentary grievance on Thursday, calling for Peel businesses to have preference in local tenders. Photo: File image.
Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup issued a parliamentary grievance on Thursday, calling for Peel businesses to have preference in local tenders. Photo: File image.

A more than $1 million tender for irrigation and landscape works at the Peel Business Park going to international company, Total Eden was a topic of conversation in parliament last week.

With unemployment rife in the Peel region and more than 2750 locals unemployed due to COVID-19, Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup called for Peel businesses to have preference in local projects.

Mr Kirkup issued the grievance on Thursday not only on behalf of the company that missed out, Peel Scape Solutions but also for everyone who would be "needing work around town during this current economic situation".

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"It is only fair and reasonable to expect that a state government that spends millions of dollars of taxpayers' money on the Peel region development would provide work to a Peel business, not a Canadian firm," he said.

"Even though this business [Peel Scape Solutions] was slightly more expensive - 16 per cent more expensive than the successful tenderer - undoubtedly the impact it would have had on our community would have been much more significant than the contract being awarded to a Canadian firm.

"That is a very big concern of ours, especially when one of the key outcomes of the Peel Business Park was always meant to be a preference for Peel businesses, Mandurah businesses in particular.

"Communities that I represent should have been given preferred treatment or at least some preference in the tender process."

A more than $1 million tender for irrigation and landscape works at the Peel Business Park went to Canadian owned company, Total Eden. Photo: LandCorp.

A more than $1 million tender for irrigation and landscape works at the Peel Business Park went to Canadian owned company, Total Eden. Photo: LandCorp.

WA treasurer Ben Wyatt made the point that 90 per cent of the construction on the Peel Business Park had gone to a local contractor, Wormall Civil.

"But under the definition local means WA not Mandurah," Mr Kirkup said.

"What we are saying is that there should be Mandurah companies getting Mandurah contracts especially for a project that was entirely designed to support the Mandurah and Peel economy."

It is only fair and reasonable to expect that a state government that spends millions of dollars of taxpayers' money on the Peel region development would provide work to a Peel business, not a Canadian firm

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup

In light of the issues Mr Kirkup raised, the treasurer concluded that it was a fair grievance.

"It is a fair grievance, and as he points out, Peel Business Park in Nambeelup is an important investment and job generator for the state government and for the local community," Mr Wyatt said.

"I undertake to contact DevelopmentWA today to get a briefing to ensure that Total Eden will be using as many local contractors as possible, because that is what we are trying to achieve."

Mr Kirkup hopes issuing this grievance will set a future precedent for Peel businesses to have preference in local tenders.

"The treasurer considered it an issue so it was a good outcome," he said.