Posted on 19. Dec, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has ended a decade of support for Victorian manufacturers by scrapping local content targets for State Government projects.

A Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission report today recommended removing local content requirements from government procurement tenders.

The Baillieu Government has approved this recommendation, and claims it will instead focus on maximising local content through greater access and awareness of local suppliers’.

Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Adem Somyurek said the Premier’s decision to dump the local content targets for State projects would hurt jobs and manufacturing.

“Mr Baillieu is more interested in cutting thousands of jobs across Victoria, than he is in creating them,” Mr Somyurek said.

“Awareness alone won’t help local manufacturers compete with overseas companies – the value of local jobs needs to remain a focus in government procurement.

“We’ve already had 3600 jobs cut from the Victorian public sector, and now the Baillieu Government’s lack of support for the manufacturing sector is putting more jobs at risk.”

“This policy has been successful because it meant contractors involved in building local projects had to meet local content targets.

“It meant local manufacturers played a large role in major government projects likeAAMIPark, Southern Cross Station, and EastLink.”

Mr Somyurek said by taking away the content target, the Premier was backing manufacturers overseas above those in Cheltenham and Dandenong.

“Sending jobs and taxpayer dollars overseas will hurt the Victorian economy,” he said.

“Not only does this Government have no plan for jobs, it is removing the framework established over many years to support local jobs.

“This comes at the worst possible time for Victorian manufacturers, which are already struggling to cope with a high Australian dollar, global financial uncertainty and increasing competition from mass-production and low-cost economies such asChina.”

“The Baillieu Government’s inaction is already hitting Victoria, with a slowing of economic growth and rising unemployment.

“The Baillieu Government needs to set real targets. The lack of timelines and goals in this Government’s policies is undermining confidence in Victoria’s economy.”


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