Joint media release with the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP
Opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises to gain business from resources projects will be enhanced following today's third Resources Sector Supplier Advisory Forum.
Resources Supplier Advocate Chair, Peter Beattie AC, has authorised Melbourne Business School to develop training and education tools to help small and medium enterprises build their capabilities and access major resource project supply chains.
"The Forum is part of the Government's Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative to maintain a strong and diverse economy, boost our manufacturing sector and share the benefits of the resources boom," Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet said.
"The Supplier Advocate will work with Government programs and agencies like Enterprise Connect, Austrade, AusIndustry, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to share information to help SMEs secure work on major resource projects.
"The Steel Supplier Advocate is also working with the ICN's National Sector Manager for steel and the Australian Steel Institute on a joint venture model for fabricators to win work.
"Austrade is working with the Advocates on a trade mission to China and Thailand in September to investigate global alliance opportunities in steel fabrication and wind farm developments."
Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said it was important to develop strategies for Australian suppliers to win work.
"This is particularly critical given there is $270 billion in committed investment in the pipeline, which will provide opportunities for Australian suppliers to access work in the ongoing operations and maintenance phases of these projects," Minister Ferguson said.
"Today was an opportunity to ensure that we remain focussed on competitiveness and innovation, which is what is required to meet the needs of major resource project owners so that we remain an attractive place to invest."
Mr Beattie said significant work has been commissioned and completed since the forum last met in March.
"One of the strong themes coming from the Forum's working groups is the need to build SME capabilities and the Melbourne Business School work will complement activities already being delivered by Enterprise Connect," Mr Beattie said.
"Indeed, all agencies and Supplier Advocates met yesterday and agreed on sharing information and coordinating efforts in support of the Buy Australian initiative to better link suppliers to resource projects and global supply chains."
The forum comprises representatives from manufacturing, resources, mining technology and services and engineering and procurement firms, and unions, academia and industry associations. Two of the newly-appointed Resources Sector Supplier Advocates - Christian Larsen and Paul Johnson MBE - also attended the Forum.
Further information about the Forum, Envoy and Resources Supplier Advocates is provided at www.innovation.gov.au/buyaustralian
29 August 2012