Navigate home logo
  • 145 per cent increase in value of Water Corporation contracts awarded to Aboriginal suppliers in 2021-22
  • 5.1 per cent of contracts awarded to Aboriginal companies - exceeding 3 per cent target; and 232 registered Aboriginal suppliers
  • New Aboriginal engagement strategy to enhance cultural intelligence, collaborative decision making, and improve the equity of water services

Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced that the proportion of Water Corporation contracts awarded to Aboriginal suppliers has grown for the third year in a row, as the State Government-owned utility launches a landmark Aboriginal engagement strategy.

In 2021-22, 5.1 per cent of contracts above $50,000 were awarded to Aboriginal businesses - well ahead of the three per cent target under the McGowan Government's Aboriginal Procurement Policy.

The value of the contracts more than doubled to $34.5 million, up from $14.1 million (FY20-21) and $4.8 million (FY19-20) in the previous financial years. In the same period, Aboriginal suppliers registered with Water Corporation rose to 232 with 96 per cent being Western Australian.

Opportunities for Aboriginal businesses and the community will be further enhanced with the development of Water Corporation's inaugural Aboriginal engagement strategy, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, to support its external Reconciliation Action Plan.

The co-designed and Aboriginal-led internal strategy seeks to promote and support self-determination principles, social inclusion, cultural security, and economic participation with Aboriginal people and their communities, and is believed to be among the first of its kind in Western Australia.

Under its initial four-year implementation plan, Water Corporation has committed to 20 objectives under five key goals (Our People, Our Culture, Our Community, Our Country, and Visibility) ranging from increasing its workforce through culturally appropriate and supportive recruitment processes to addressing long-standing inequality of water and wastewater services to Aboriginal communities. Procurement processes will also be enhanced to further support Aboriginal suppliers.

For information on becoming an Aboriginal supplier to Water Corporation, contact its Aboriginal Contractor Engagement team at:

Alternatively, visit:

Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:

"By committing to the McGowan Government's Aboriginal Procurement Policy, Water Corporation has again increased the proportion of its contracts awarded to Aboriginal suppliers - up to a record $34.5 million in the last financial year.

"To continue developing opportunities for Aboriginal suppliers and delivering enhanced outcomes for Aboriginal people, Water Corporation has developed a bold new Aboriginal engagement strategy.

"Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow articulates its commitment to ensuring Aboriginal culture directly informs its decision making and ways of working, while also acknowledging and healing from the past to make meaningful change and improve the equity of water services.

"I commend Water Corporation's Aboriginal employees and community members involved in the development of this landmark strategy - believed to be among the first of its kind in WA - that sets the blueprint for Aboriginal engagement."

Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:

"The buying power of the WA Government is significant, so policies geared towards supporting Aboriginal businesses make a big difference.

"Water Corporation has responsibilities all over the State, and contracts are frequently given to businesses with superior connections to the communities they are working in.

"The Aboriginal business sector continues to strengthen, and through their growth we are seeing more significant Government contracts awarded."

Water Minister's office - 6552 6100
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6400