Release type: Media Release

Date:

Commonwealth Bank Signs Indigenous Business Contract

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for Sport
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Indigenous business Message Stick today became the latest businesses to sign a contract facilitated by the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC).

Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Mark Arbib, said the contract would see the bank use Message Stick’s audio and web conferencing facilities.

Senator Arbib said AIMSC, which was set up to link some of Australia’s biggest corporations with Indigenous suppliers, had facilitated almost $9 million in contracts and $4.5 million in transactions between members and certified suppliers in just 18 months of operation.

AIMSC has 76 Indigenous suppliers and 62 corporate and government members.

Senator Arbib congratulated Commonwealth Bank on its support of Indigenous suppliers and thanked AIMSC for facilitating the contract.

“It is fantastic that one of Australia’s largest banks has made the decision to support Indigenous suppliers,” Senator Arbib said.

“They recognise that using Indigenous suppliers makes good business sense.

“The contract signed today is one of the largest contracts entered into, since AIMSC’s foundation in September 2009.

“It demonstrates that Australia’s businesses are playing a leading role in the economic development of Indigenous Australians.

“To close the gap on Indigenous employment all Australians need to work together – Federal, State and Territory Governments, the public and private sectors and Australia’s Indigenous population.”

Senator Arbib said the contract signing was another example that AIMSC is an extremely efficient business networking agency.

“In 18 months we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Australian and Indigenous businesses forming partnerships,” Senator Arbib said.

“Growing the Indigenous business sector is a vital part of the Australian Government’s strategy to support Indigenous economic development. “Corporations that are serious about having Indigenous businesses in their supply chain should take up the opportunity to sign up with AIMSC.

“Already some of Australian’s largest businesses have become members of AIMSC including Commonwealth Bank, Australia Post, Westpac, IBM, Foxtel, Wesfarmers, Telstra and Corporate Express.”

Senator Arbib said the Australian Government had provided $3 million funding for AIMSC through the Indigenous Employment Program and was part of the Australian Government's commitment to close the gap on Indigenous employment.

The Australian Government has a target of creating more than 100 000 jobs for Indigenous Australians by 2018.

“The government has committed more than $750 million over five years to the Indigenous Employment Program, to assist Indigenous Australians into ongoing, sustainable work,” Senator Arbib said.