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Construction giant launches Indigenous policy

Multinational construction company Laing O’Rourke has released its first dedicated Indigenous Procurement Policy to create opportunities and build sustainable relationships with Indigenous businesses and communities.

Laing O’Rourke’s head of procurement Jackie Aggett said the new policy was developed to help boost the capabilities of Indigenous businesses in the construction sector.

She said as one of the first major construction companies to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan, Laing O’Rourke had a long and proud history of supporting Indigenous communities.

“This policy sets a new standard for engaging with our Indigenous supply chain and delivery partners,” Ms Aggett said.

“It includes a new minimum target spend (of the total value of goods and services procured) for all projects, regardless of the client requirements, starting at 1.5 percent this year and stretching to four percent in the long term.”

In 2016 the Australian Government made a number of changes to its Indigenous Procurement Policy, which requires all Commonwealth and State Government construction contracts to meet mandatory minimum requirements for Indigenous employment and sub-contractor engagement.

“I am proud to say Laing O’Rourke will go even further than the Government’s new requirements to ensure we are engaging with local Indigenous businesses on every project across the country,” Ms Aggett said.

Laing O’Rourke is also a sponsor of Supply Nation Connect 2017, Australia’s largest supplier diversity knowledge forum, Indigenous business tradeshow and gala awards dinner being held in Sydney next month.

Supply Nation’s CEO Laura Barry congratulated Laing O’Rourke on the launch of the new Indigenous Procurement Policy.

“This is a very tangible demonstration of leadership from an organisation that recognises supplier diversity means changing procurement behaviours,” Ms Barry said.

“As we’ve seen from other policies, targets do change behaviours, so we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits the implementation of this policy drives for Indigenous-owned businesses.”

Laing O’Rourke is a $7 billion international operation with 50 years of involvement in Australian construction and infrastructure.

It has twice been named as one of Australia’s Top 10 most innovative businesses by BRW Magazine and was the 2016 Winner of the Australian Construction Achievement Award.

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