Procuring a better environment

The Greens have urged the new SA Productivity Commission to recommend that the State Government uses its multi-billion dollar spending budget to promote a better environment and safer climate.

At a meeting with the Presiding Commissioner yesterday the Greens identified climate change, recycling and support for electric vehicles as areas where the State Government could make a real difference by directing its massive purchasing power to more sustainable products.

“When you have a cool $5 Billion to spend on goods and services, your choices can make a profound difference, far more than any individual can”, said Mark Parnell MLC.

“Governments can choose to spend on products with a lower environment footprint. They can choose carbon-neutral goods and services over those that are heavily reliant on fossil fuels. They can choose free range over cruelty. They can support suppliers of recycled goods over those made from new raw materials. They can make good investments or bad investments.

“In fact, Governments are in a strong position to influence the attitudes of suppliers because they are one of the biggest customers for a wide range of goods and services. If the government insists on green, that’s exactly what they will get. If they don’t, it’s a real missed opportunity.

“It was disappointing that the Premier didn’t include environmental considerations in the terms of reference for the inquiry, but that shouldn’t stop the Productivity Commission from providing independent advice on how government procurement can be a powerful environmental tool as government departments and agencies go about their job of providing the goods and services that we all need,” concluded Mark Parnell.

Note: The Productivity Commission will provide a draft report by 15 March and a final report by 17 May 2019.