15 November 2023

Time to have your say as Local Jobs First Act turns 20

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The minister and a worker both in high visual gear talking.

Victorian Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins is asking for input on proposed reforms to the state’s jobs policy. Photo: NAWO.

Businesses and workers are being invited to help shape the future of Victoria’s Local Jobs First policy by providing feedback to the Allan Government to support businesses into a strong pipeline of work across the state.

Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins has called for input into the proposed reforms to the Local Jobs First Act 2003 – Australia’s longest-standing industry participation law.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of our Local Jobs First Act and I’m calling on Victorian businesses, unions and workers to have their say on how we can make this policy even better in the future,” she said.

“Under Local Jobs First, we’re using our purchasing power to make sure local and socially responsible businesses are always the first option – strengthening our own industries and securing thousands of jobs here in Victoria.”

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The Act gives Victorian small and medium businesses an advantage to compete for government contracts – creating local job opportunities with a focus on apprentices, trainees and cadets.

The government is looking to strengthen the Act to make sure local workers and products are used for public projects where possible.

The proposed changes focus on compliance and enforcement of Local Industry Development Plans – including increasing the Local Jobs First Commissioner’s powers – and for uniforms and personal protective equipment to be made locally for Strategic Projects.

The reforms will build on policy changes in June 2022 that created better outcomes for the local steel industry on Strategic Projects. Strategic Projects are valued at more than $50 million – with projects ranging from transport and healthcare to sport and tourism.

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Since December 2014, local product requirements have been used for more than 300 Strategic Projects – with a combined value of around $149 billion and supporting more than 50,000 jobs.

Other government initiatives focused on local and socially responsible government purchasing include the Fair Jobs Code and the Social Procurement Framework – with both driving secure local jobs and socially responsible Victorian businesses.

Make a submission here before 12 December.

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