THE Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has advised all contractors and service providers on Manus Island to use local providers and labour wherever possible.
The advice, ironically, came at a time when it was revealed that Saudi Arabian company, Red Sea Housing Services, last Friday signed a US$35 million (K84 million) deal with DIAC to build new camps for the Australia’s government to house refugees in Manus.
The PNG Manufacturers’ Council has also cried foul over participation of PNG businesses in the Manus asylum centre.
Red Sea last Friday signed a contract with DIAC to build a camp which will house up to 430 tenants, as well as provide related accommodation and amenity facilities with all the required infrastructure and services.
Red Sea said the camp on Manus Island’s temporary regional processing centre at Lobrum naval base would be completed within 70 days from last Friday, and would be financed through existing cash flows and bank guarantees.
The DIAC, in a statement to the PNG Manufacturers’ Council, said local plant, equipment and labour was already being utilised.
“As has been the case to date, DIAC adheres to Commonwealth procurement rules for all procurement,” it said.
“The department has conducted business briefings in Port Moresby, Lae and on Manus Island and has received a significant amount of interest from potential suppliers, all of which will be considered by managing contractors when considering trade package procurement.
“The department has instructed its managing contractors to advertise future procurement of trade packages and other significant opportunities in PNG media.”