Local Jobs First Commissioner Putting Victorians First

The Andrews Labor Government is putting Victorian workers and businesses first with a new Commissioner who will advocate for Victorian businesses and workers, so they get a greater share of government projects.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll today announced the appointment of Mr Don Matthews as the inaugural Local Jobs First Commissioner.

The Local Jobs First Commissioner will be an advocate for businesses, workers, apprentices, trainees and cadets, ensuring that they continue to benefit from Victorian Government procurement.

The Commissioner will also oversee compliance of local content and workforce commitments.

Mr Matthews is a highly regarded senior executive from the manufacturing industry and was until recently the Executive Director of the Industry Capability Network, whose role is to facilitate opportunities for local businesses to work on major projects.

He has held several senior roles in industry, including Chief Operating Officer at Carter Holt Harvey and Managing Director of the Penola Pulp group and was a board member of the Australian Industry Group.

As the Local Jobs First Commissioner, Mr Matthews will balance advocacy, engagement, facilitation and compliance functions.

The Local Jobs First Bill was enshrined in law in August this year, ensuring that all Victorian Government departments and agencies must apply local jobs first for contracts valued at $1 million or more in regional Victoria, or $3 million or more in metropolitan Melbourne.

It also requires mandated job opportunities be created for apprentices, trainees and cadets on projects worth over $20 million.

Since 2014, the Labor Government has set minimum local content requirements on 100 strategic projects – valued at $58 billion and creating tens-of-thousands of jobs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll 

“As we remove level crossings, build roads, schools and hospitals, deliver new trains, trams and buses we are using our purchasing power to put local jobs and local businesses first.”

“The Local Jobs First Commissioner will enforce these new laws to make sure local content and employment requirements are met.”