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Small businesses in the Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North regions are set to receive a much needed boost with BHP Olympic Dam launching their successful Local Buying Program in South Australia.

The announcement was made today at the Global Maintenance Conference in Whyalla by Isaac Hinton, Manager Supply at BHP Olympic Dam.

“The introduction of the Local Buying Program is great news for family businesses, Mums and Dads who work from home and those with a long proud history in the Upper Spencer Gulf and the Far North – we want to work with you” said Mr Hinton.

The program provides opportunities for businesses with less than 20 full time equivalent staff and based in the Upper Spencer Gulf region to supply goods and services to Olympic Dam via an online platform. The process is aimed at making it easier to work with BHP and to level the playing field for small regional businesses. The scope of work is very broad and caters to work packages under A$2 million. BHP Olympic Dam has partnered with C-Res, a cost neutral organisation, to roll out the program.

The Local Buying Program has been successfully rolled out in Queensland and NSW over the past five years, with more than 850 suppliers registered in the east coast program resulting in A$140 million being spent with small local business. The east coast program provides close to 5000 work opportunities annually, with 85% of these successfully awarded to local businesses.

“We want to replicate the success of this program here in the Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North, to ensure that everyone can share in Olympic Dam’s future growth plans” said Mr Hinton.

The Local Buying Program is part of BHP’s global strategy to better partner with local suppliers, upskill contractor capabilities and support growth in local communities.

“It really is an exciting time to be part of Olympic Dam, however we know we can’t do this alone. We need to work closely with small regional business to turn Olympic Dam into a world class sustainable operation that delivers safely against our plans, year in year out, for generations to come.”

It is hoped that by using the Local Buying Program, in partnership with C-Res, that the process for local businesses to express interest will be more transparent. Registration for the program is free and vendors can log onto the website from 23 August, however expressions of interest are available from today. Visit www.localbuying.com.au to register.

Work instructions will be accessible from 30 October 2017.

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