Victorian water corporations supporting Aboriginal economic development through social procurement

In line with Victorian Government’s social procurement objectives, water corporations’ social procurement strategies include the provision of opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians. Several water corporations engage Traditional Owner organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses to provide a range of goods and services in relation to water and land management as well as for other corporate requirements.

Coliban Water engages Djandak (the com­mercial arm of the Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) in relation to natural resource management across the region. Central Highlands Water is also partnering with Djandak as one of its land maintenance contractors. This provides employment and capacity building opportunities for Tradi­tional Owners. Goulburn Murray Water also engages Djandak and Wokka Wolla (Yorta Yorta) for natural resource management, as well as services in revegetation, fencing, pest plant management and cultural heritage work.

Barwon Water has explored and realised a range of business opportunities through its Partnership Agreements with Traditional Owner groups and with Aboriginal owned businesses including printing, stationery, design works, cultural heritage consultants, facilitators and artists. City West Water has recently developed a Social Procurement Policy which ensures it will support First Nations businesses, and is currently utilising six First Nation businesses.

To find out more about the initiatives and activities that support Aboriginal inclusion, participation, engagement and employment in the Victorian water sector, see the Victorian Water Industry Recognising and Managing for Aboriginal Values Report (February 2020).