Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia, 16–18 November 2021 2021

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Janelle Price

Principal Local Content Adviser, WA Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development

Janelle Price

Abstract

Local Content and its emerging role in Economic Diversity

The introduction of the WA Jobs Act in 2017 established procurement related legislation for all State Government Agencies and all forms of procurement. The Local Content Adviser Network (LCAN) was established by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development with a focus on Local Content in Government Procurement in regional WA.

The WA Auditor General’s 2017 Report on Local Content, stated the WA Buy Local Policy “may not be helping WA companies as much as it could be”. And so began the LCAN’s journey into Local Content through a discovery led and evolving process.

The LCAN is a first in WA. There are few guiding lights in Local Content, and by International standards Australian Local Content is in its infancy. The task of being ‘first-on-ground’ to kick goals is compounded by WA’s geographically isolated and diverse regional economies; and quite unlike anywhere else globally, our regional economies are predominated by primary industry, raising questions and challenges regarding regional economic diversity, capability, and capacity.

This presentation from the LCAN will recount the journey and evolution of the Network as it navigates through and across Government Agencies, policy and relationships, and relates the hurdles encountered when operating in information voids. Understanding the impact of Government spending and the participation of regional business in the supply chain is now a regional development imperative. The Local Content Genie is out of the bottle and we need to develop in-field practice, to support reform, and to go bravely where others have feared to tread.

Biography

Janelle lives and works across Southern regional WA and has been engaged in Regional development projects since Graduating from UWA in 2012. Following work on regional development projects since 2012, in 2018 she was appointed as a Principal of the Local Content Adviser Network (the LCAN) with the WA Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development. She leads the LCAN’s reporting and analytics.

Prior to this role Janelle was Chief Executive Officer of one of Albany’s longest standing Not-for-Profits, and designed and delivered the ground breaking two year Young Harvest Empowering Youth Initiatives pilot program supporting at-risk youth in gaining and sustaining employment. She is passionate about regional communities and regional SMEs and regards human capital as intrinsic to any regional economic development pursuit. Through her work she endeavours to advocate for people living and working in the regions and to normalise living standards in the regions.