Local businesses urged to register

A new business portal has been launched for regional businesses as an initiative to help recovery from the bushfires and boost support for local businesses.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed the launch of a new business portal and concierge service on Tuesday and urged local businesses to register.

The portal and concierge service has been set up to help regional businesses gain access to NSW government procurement opportunities, as part of the bushfire recovery process according to Ms Cooke.

Ms Cooke encourages local suppliers to register with the new online business portal.

By registering on the portal the Government will be notified of services that are able to be provided on a local level and can be utilised when needed.

"I have seen first-hand the enormous amount of clean-up that will be needed in areas like Batlow and Tumbarumba," Ms Cooke said.

"We need as many 'hands on deck' as possible to help our neighbouring communities back on their feet."

"There are many businesses in the Cootamundra Electorate that are currently not pre-qualified under existing government procurement arrangements but who can provide the help needed."

Ms Cooke said the process to register on the portal is very easy.

"The registration process for the portal is quick and free of red tape, and the Government is also setting up a concierge service to speed up applications," she said.

The portal, which will be hosted on the Tenders NSW website tenders.nsw.gov.au, will also allow agencies and councils to upload details of available work so the whole supply chain is aware of upcoming opportunities.

"This is the NSW Government putting locals first," Deputy Premier and Minister for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said.

"Our regional communities are outstanding in emergency situations and we need to be as vigilant in recovery as they are in the face of disaster."

To further assist local recovery, Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope has issued a direction to all government agencies to source work from local businesses as part of the bushfire recovery process.

This direction comes as the NSW and Commonwealth Governments announced on Monday the cost of the clean-up of residential and commercial properties would be split 50:50 between the State and Federal levels with the works led by contractor Laing O'Rourke.

Laing O'Rourke will work with Public Works Advisory NSW to ensure local suppliers and subcontractors are engaged where possible for the clean-up.

For more information go to the Tenders NSW website at www.tenders.nsw.gov.au.

Alternatively anyone wanting more information can contact NSW Procurement on 1800 679 289.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke inspects fire affected orchards in the Cootamundra electorate. Photo: contributed

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke inspects fire affected orchards in the Cootamundra electorate. Photo: contributed