Local family businesses to lose under government outsourcing plan

A plan by the Marshall Liberal Government to privatise and outsource facility and maintenance
services in South Australia may adversely impact small business and communities as well as
ultimately costing the taxpayer, according to Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP.

Mr Brock is joining with other parliamentary colleagues in condemning the plan to cut well
established ties with local contractors and businesses who have serviced government infrastructure
for more than 25 years.

“These contractors and sub-contractors not only live regionally and have essential local
knowledge, but they keep their town economies thriving and ultimately save the taxpayer money,”
Mr Brock said.

“Taking the work away from these well established businesses, with the likelihood of contractors for
my regional communities, for example, being engaged from Adelaide and interstate and then
paying them additional travel and accommodation on top of other charges will just add to the
financial burden of government – something we can’t afford right now.”

Mr Brock said that not only direct work from approved contractors would be affected, but also the
Tier 1 Contractors based in Adelaide as well as current local materials procurement would be
impacted.

Current facilities and maintenance services are spread over 70 preferred Department of Planning,
Transport and Infrastructure services, who employ more than 330 employees, providing local
employment and purchase materials from local sources, stimulating their local economy, Mr Brock
said.

“The current system is not broken, and I am perplexed as to why former State Government
Transport Minister Stephan Knoll would want to change the AGFMA arrangement (Across
Government Facilities Management Agreement) and outsource this to other companies.
“Outsourcing the agreement, which has been in place for more than 25 years, will open the door
for a new organisation to overlook local expertise and there is a strong indication this will hurt small
regional businesses,” Mr Brock said.

“I am calling on Premier Steven Marshall to immediately reverse this flawed decision to privatise the
DPTI maintenance management before it damages the State’s future economic recovery further.
“I fear for massive job losses not only in my electorate, but across the State at a time when
employees and tradespeople require certainty and support.”

Mr Brock said the proposed privatisation of the Statewide infrastructure maintenance program was
an unnecessary distraction from managing the impacts of the world-wide pandemic and was
causing anxiety and stress for communities.