New Laws To Make Things Fair For Victorian Workers

The Andrews Labor Government’s flagship local jobs policies will be enshrined in law and a new Jobs Cop will enforce local content targets to put Victorian workers and businesses first.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll today visited Downer Rail in Newport to announce the Victorian Local Jobs First Bill.

The Bill to be introduced to Parliament next year will mandate the use of local content and local apprentices on our most significant public projects – from road and rail projects to schools and hospitals – ensuring every major contractor is held to account.

The Victorian Local Jobs First Commissioner – or Jobs Cop – will be created to monitor and enforce the laws and oversee compliance of local workforce and content targets. A new regime will be developed to target non-compliance.

As Victoria’s advocate for local content, the Jobs Cop will work closely with industry and departments to open-up opportunities for small and medium firms on government projects.

There will also be a 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.

The Labor Government’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee requires contractors on public projects valued at more than $20 million to use apprentices, trainees or engineering cadets for at least 10 per cent of total labour hours.

To drive local jobs across the supply chain – local content targets have been set on major government works including 100 per cent local steel on level crossings and 50 per cent local content on rolling stock.

Since 2014, Labor has announced more than 80 public projects with local content requirements. In four wasted years of the former Liberal Government, they managed just eight projects with mandated minimum local content.

Local businesses looking to supply into government projects and works are encouraged to visit economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/victorian-industry-participation-policy.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“This is about making things fair for Victorian workers and businesses on our major projects.”

“We’re building Victorian, employing Victorian – and with our commitment to locally made uniforms, we’ll be buying Victorian too.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll

“Our local jobs policies are giving Victorians the opportunities they deserve – and soon they’ll be enshrined in law.”

“We’re also proud to be backing our local clothing and textile manufacturers to supply government agencies with the equipment they need.”