Kalbar Conversations Column

Investing in local businesses and jobs

   Wednesday 6th May, 2020

In the world that many of us knew before the internet and the global economy, local communities relied on local businesses and local people to operate. Communities were their own hives of activity.

I recall my parents telling me stories of my grandparents’ weekly trips in to town so my grandmother could buy groceries and farm supplies, whilst my grandfather would take himself off to the local pub to catch up with other graziers and discuss local matters over a beer.

Life revolved around supporting local businesses. Every penny was spent locally.’ It still makes sense to use local businesses and employ locals.

My job is to build the connections with local suppliers, contractors, employers and training organisations to maximise the benefits of the Fingerboards Project for the local community.

It is Kalbar’s policy to apply these values. We believe that it’s all about sourcing supplies and services from local businesses. It’s also about providing direct and indirect jobs to the local community. By using local resources, developing and enhancing local skills and utilising local manufacturing services, we know we will have a positive impact on the local community.

Why do we choose this approach?

Aside from the fact that it just makes sense, there is a cascading effect of jobs and money spent in the local community. This is often referred to as the local multiplier effect. Deloitte (2017) has estimated that flow-on employment from mining could be as high as a two multiplier for every direct job created.
For example, investment in the region will create jobs for teachers, medical professionals and hospitality workers – these may be local people who have opportunities to access local training and stay in the local community to earn their income and start their families.

The investment in a major project also provides new opportunities for local businesses. Supporting local suppliers and businesses doesn’t mean we have to disengage from the outside world – it simply means that we give first preference to our local businesses before looking further afield. This will assist our local community to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports or outside suppliers and services. Jobs and income stay in the community where it belongs.

Local businesses owned by local people benefit enormously from investment that is focussed on a “buy local” policy.

Kalbar already employs a substantial local workforce and buys many products and services from local suppliers and contractors. We are committed to supporting local businesses and jobs.

Kalbar Limited

Janet Robertson - Local Content Coordinator