The Andrews Labor Government’s flagship local jobs policies have been enshrined in law with the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (Local Jobs First) Amendment Bill passing Parliament tonight.
The Bill mandates minimum local content on major projects, including a 90 per cent minimum on construction projects – which will create more jobs for Victorians and supports local industry.
It comes in response to the Premier’s Job Summit in 2017 and enshrines the Labor Government’s flagship local jobs policies – the Victorian Industry Participation Policy and the Major Projects Skills Guarantee – in law.
The legislation also establishes the Local Jobs First Commissioner, who will advocate for businesses and workers, so they get a greater share of government projects. The Commissioner will also oversee compliance of local content and workforce commitments.
The Bill builds on the Labor Government’s reforms to industry participation including reducing the Strategic Projects threshold from $100 million to $50 million.
The Labor Government has already set local content requirements for 88 strategic projects – worth $55 billion – including level crossing removals and the Metro Tunnel, compared to just eight projects set under the Liberals.
In addition, there are new requirement on all government agencies to buy local uniforms and locally-manufactured personal protective equipment – such as high-vis vests, hard hats and safety goggles – where possible, instead of importing gear from overseas.
With such a large infrastructure program, the opportunities for local businesses and workers from government procurement have never been better.
The highly successful Major Project Skills Guarantee has already helped more than 1,200 apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets kickstart their careers, completing more than 1 million labour hours on 52 projects.
For more information, visit localjobsfirst.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll
“We said we’d put local workers and businesses first and that’s exactly what we’ve done with this Bill.”
“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.”
“We’re leading the nation with our local content laws – which ensures the products, like steel and concrete, used on our major projects are local and apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets do at least 10 per cent of the work. These laws are the strongest in the country – benefitting local businesses and local workers.”