Changes to put local jobs and industry first in Victoria

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The Andrews Labor Government is boosting opportunities for local businesses and Victorian jobs through our multi-billion dollar pipeline of major projects and a strengthen industry participation policy.

Visiting the construction site of the Furlong Road level crossing in St. Albans, Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan outlined further reforms to government purchasing arrangements to support local industry.

Under our Local Jobs First – Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP), strategic projects valued at over $50 million require companies to meet minimum local content requirements using local firms, materials, expertise and skills.

From 1 September 2016, all government departments and agencies must consider local businesses for contracts valued at $1 million or more in Regional Victoria, or $3 million or more in metropolitan Melbourne or for state-wide activities.

This is the first time a formal weighting of local content has been required at the tender assessment process, an official press release said on Aug 26.

“As we remove level crossings, build roads, schools and hospitals we are using our purchasing power to put local jobs and local businesses first,” Wade Noonan said.

Other changes include cutting red tape, increased industry engagement and education and a stronger compliance focus to make sure local competitive companies are given full and fair opportunities to supply into government contracts.

There have already been more than 30 major projects with mandated local content requirements under this Labor Government, compared to only eight projects over four years under the previous Liberal government.

The pipeline of major projects have a combined value of $16 billion, supporting 10,600 current and new jobs.

The upgrade of the St Albans level crossing has a minimum 90 per cent local content requirement and is required to use 100 per cent local steel products.

The project is expected to support and create 135 local jobs, and provides opportunities for small businesses such as Victoria’s Prebuilt Pty Ltd to supply into these projects.

For more information about the project pipeline and Local Jobs First, visit (www.ecodev.vic.gov.au/vipp). (TIW)