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Western Power has joined other high-profile Western Australian energy, mining and resource companies to develop a practical toolkit to pre-screen for modern slavery risks within supply chains.

Central to the toolkit is a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) with 18 core questions that the group has agreed to ask suppliers to identify modern slavery risks, improve transparency and identify areas for further due diligence.

Western Power Head of Commercial, Matt Tompsett, said the initiative recognises the challenge that suppliers are facing with increased requests for information due to modern slavery laws in Australia and the United Kingdom, and asking a common set of questions will streamline reporting, provide consistency and clarity.

“The practice of modern slavery is neither ethically nor economically acceptable as part of our procurement and supply chain,” Mr Tompsett said.

“It is initiatives like this where the WA business community can come together to tackle a global problem, by streamlining the identification and contracting of ethically aligned suppliers, that we can start to make a difference.”

Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood, welcomed the initiative.

“It is vital that large businesses work collaboratively with their business partners and suppliers to combat modern slavery. This innovative industry approach is an important step towards eradicating modern slavery from our supply chains,” Mr Wood said.

Walk Free estimates that modern slavery affects over 40 million people globally.

Walk Free Chief Executive Officer, Jenn Morris, said, “We commend the design of this open source document that supports the mandatory reporting requirements of the Australian Modern Slavery Act. This approach reduces the administration of monitoring yet increases the efficiency and effectiveness of driving better outcomes in identifying the risks of modern slavery.”

By working together, the group aims to help end modern slavery and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Toolkit includes:

  • Supplier Self-Assessment Questionnaire
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Walk Free Foundation Guidance – Understanding Modern Slavery

These documents will be available in four languages (English, Mandarin, Spanish and Japanese). The toolkit is open source and can be downloaded from www.baliprocessbusiness.org. Interested companies are encouraged to use this toolkit. The toolkit has been launched as a pilot program and will be regularly reviewed.

Participating companies:

  • Western Power
  • South32
  • Fortescue Metals Group
  • Anglo American
  • INPEX
  • Gold Fields
  • CITIC Pacific Mining
  • Iluka Resources
  • Synergy
  • ATCO

The initiative excludes collaboration relating to supplier selection, which continues to rely on the decision of individual companies.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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