BuyAbility has been announced as the winner of the grounds maintenance contract for several of Western Power’s metropolitan depots, a service provided by National Disability Services (NDS).

The partnership will engage up to 70 people through the NDS’s first Western Australian contract between now and early 2020 at eight Western Power metropolitan depot sites, including Jandakot, Kewdale, Forrestfield, Balcatta, East Perth and Mt Claremont.

Western Power’s Executive Manager Business and Customer Service, Tamara Brooker, said BGIS has delivered a framework through the competitive tender process, which left no doubt that BuyAbility was the best choice.

“At Western Power, we are committed to building strong relationships within the community and removing any barriers that could prevent people from seeking employment with us,” Ms Brooker said.

“The partnership with BGIS and NDS allows us to meet our corporate social responsibility agenda by working with local businesses to employ a diverse workforce and maintain our commitment to safe and efficient work practices at all of our work sites across the network.”

Under the contract, staff will deliver grounds maintenance duties including mowing, fertilising and reticulation management of the grounds and was awarded to BGIS’s BuyAbility group through a competitive tendering process.

President and Managing Director APAC at BGIS, Jon McCormick, said Western Power is leading the energy industry in Western Australia by implementing BuyAbility and was promoting the benefits of employing people with disability through the promotion, connection and management of socially responsible procurement opportunities for Disability Enterprises.

“This contract is expected to provide $593,727.30 in net economic benefit which includes the revenue generated by Disability Enterprises, government savings, increased carer participation and $1.84 return on investment for every dollar of government funding received,” Mr McCormack said.

“We are seeking to engage several large government and corporate organisations in this very important initiative. Western Power is our first client to engage in the program.”

Since inception in 2011, over 1500 people with a disability have been engaged through BuyAbility contracts, with over $33 million in Disability Enterprise contracts secured.

Disability Enterprises in the BuyAbility network save the Australian government around $33.3 million per annum and generate a net economic benefit of $743 million per annum.

WA State Manager at National Disability Services, Julie Waylen, said the relationship demonstrates that people with disability can do high-quality work in an industry, such as power, where occupational health and safety is a very high priority.

“With more than 2000 people with disability employed in Disability Enterprises in Western Australia, contracts such as the one signed with Western Power and BGIS helps strengthen the supported employment sector,” Ms Waylen said.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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