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NSW govt signs up indigenous telco

NSW govt signs up indigenous telco

Support for small business a key objective

The NSW government has awarded a landline and mobile phone product and services contract to Message Stick Communications as part of its "People First" ICT plan to slash its telecommunications spend by more than $50 million a year.

Message Stick Communications claims to be Australia's first Aboriginal national telecommunications service provider.

NSW Minister for Commerce Eric Roozendaal said the state government is keen to provide opportunities, and do business with, smaller companies.

"Contracts have been signed with Message Stick Communications, Soul, and PowerTel to form a development panel of service providers as part of the latest NSW government telecommunications agreements," Roozendaal said, adding the deal was signed earlier this month.

"Message Stick Communications has demonstrated its ability to offer high-quality services at competitive prices in a very tough and technical marketplace."

Message Stick CEO Michael McLeod is an indigenous Australian, as are most of the company's management and staff. The company is also majority owned by indigenous Australians.

"The NSW government is committed to supporting small and innovative NSW businesses whether they are located locally or regionally," Roozendaal said. "The development panel was established to provide opportunities for small or regional focused companies to provide services to the NSW government."

Message Stick will also provide teleconferencing services.

The NSW government telecommunications agreements consist of two panels. The first panel contract was signed in April 2007 with AAPT, Macquarie Telecom, Optus, and Telstra for the delivery of fixed line and mobile services for government agencies.

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