Western Australian Jobs Act 2017

The Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 (WA Jobs Act) ensures Western Australian Government procurement enhances local industry participation, especially for small and medium sized enterprises.
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The WA Jobs Act provides potential suppliers with an open, effective and competitive market.

It was developed as a result of the WA Government’s Plan for Jobs. A key strategy of the plan was to ensure the $30 billion spent annually on WA Government procurement supported local industry and retained or created new jobs for Western Australians.

The WA Jobs Act applies to all WA Government agencies, including government trading entities (GTEs). It is relevant to all forms of procurement including goods, services, housing, works and community services. It does not apply to universities or local government procurement.


Principles of the WA Jobs Act

The WA Jobs Act comprises five principles:

  • Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy

The WA Jobs Act requires the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade to implement the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy (WAIPS). 

The WAIPS provides local businesses with full, fair and reasonable opportunity to access WA Government supply contracts. In particular, it focuses on small and medium sized enterprises, which make up approximately 97% of businesses in Western Australia.

The Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade may revise the WAIPS or offer exemptions to agencies.

Find out more about the WA Industry Participation Strategy.

  • Participation plans

One of the key elements of the WAIPS is for agencies to ensure prospective suppliers complete and submit a participation plan as part of their tender bid for contracts above relevant thresholds. 

Participation plans are written statements that prospective suppliers use to outline their commitments to employing or involving local businesses, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, in supply opportunities. Participation plans will be used by government agencies as part of the evaluation, award and contracting process.

The WA Jobs Act also requires the successful tenderer to report on employment, skilling and sourcing outcomes that have been achieved through the contract. This is essential so that actual outcomes are captured, successful tenderers are held accountable, and for the government to better understand trends that are influencing local sourcing.  

If you are a business, find out more about participation plans under Information for businesses.

If you are a State Government agency, visit Information for agencies.

  • Strategic projects

A strategic project is a supply opportunity that the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade considers to be of strategic importance to the Western Australian economy with potential to generate additional significant economic activity and local jobs. 

Strategic projects are determined by the Minister and may require tailored participation plans that address specific local participation commitments.

Read more about Strategic projects.

  • Reporting

Under the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017, the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade is required to report annually to State Parliament on the continued functioning of the WA Jobs Act and the Western Australian Industry Participation Strategy. Download the reports below.

  • Regulations

The WA Jobs Act is underpinned by the Western Australian Jobs Regulations 2018, which cover the WAIPS supply thresholds, exemptions from the requirement of participation plans and strategic projects. 

Key definitions in the WA Jobs Act

What is local industry? 
Local industry refers to suppliers of goods produced, or services provided, in Western Australia, another Australian state or territory or New Zealand.
This definition ensures the WA Jobs Act is consistent with both Section 92 of the Australian Constitution and the Australia and New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement (ANZGPA).The definition was endorsed by the WA Solicitor General as meeting constitutional requirements.

What is local content?
Local content is the portion of the contracted value of a product or service generated within a jurisdiction. Local content is generally expressed as a percentage of the total contract value.

What is a small or medium sized enterprise (SME)? 
A small or medium enterprise (SME) is a business or undertaking that has less than 200 full time equivalent employees. SMEs make up 97% of businesses in Western Australia. 

What is value for money and how is it calculated?
Value for money is a key principle within government procurement. Value for money is a balanced judgement of a range of financial and non-financial factors, taking into account the mix of quality, cost and resources; fitness for purpose; total cost of ownership and risk. 

The WAIPS introduces a new factor that will be weighted in the overall tender score and form part of the overall value for money equation. This will be the participation plan score which will represent either 10% or 20% of the overall tender score. The plan commits the successful bidder to report on the realisation of its intention to maximise participation of local industry to quantify the number of jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships employed. 

The inclusion of participation plans in the value for money calculation benefits local suppliers through increased focus on achieving the objectives of the WA Jobs Act.

How is workforce defined?
Workforce means the total number of workers (head count not FTEs) directly employed on a contract. This includes full-time, part-time, casual employees, workers engaged through labour hire arrangements and other employer supported initiatives such as apprenticeships, traineeships, cadetships and internships.

How do I know if a procurement is a goods and services procurement or a housing and works procurement?
Consistent with the Terms contained within the Western Australian Buy Local Policy 2022:

  • Goods: includes materials, consumables, components, equipment and finished products.
  • Services: the provision of labour, trade or professional tasks to fulfil a specified requirement.
  • Works (including Housing): the creation, modification, maintenance and demolition of a physical asset, either permanent or non-permanent.