Posted on 22. Apr, 2013 in News

Thousands of workers in the services sector – including banking, IT and call centres – would continue to be employed locally under a new policy announced on Saturday by Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews.

Under the policy released on Saturday at the Victorian Labor Party State Conference, companies that employ services staff in Victoria would get preference for government contracts over those companies that have staff located off shore.

Mr Andrews said that with Victoria in the grip of a jobs crisis, it was crucial that the State Government used every available lever at its disposal to help keep jobs in the state and improve job security for Victorian workers.

“In the last six months alone 20,000 full-time Victorian workers have lost their jobs,” Mr Andrews said.

“The State Government has the greatest buying power of any employer in Victoria, government banking and telecommunications contracts alone employing thousands of Victorians in service sector jobs.”

Mr Andrews said that while much attention had been placed on the decline in manufacturing in Victoria, jobs in the financial and service sectors were also leaving the state.

“The services sector employs almost 2 million people in Victoria and in recent years we have seen a number of companies make the decision to either send jobs off shore or reduce their Victorian workforce.

“In many cases these companies are responding to global economic conditions including the high Australian dollar but it’s not good enough for the Napthine Government to say that nothing can be done to stem the tide of investment and jobs draining out of Victoria.

“That’s why Labor has a plan to use the buying power of government departments and agencies to ensure that jobs stay in Victoria and that the services sector continues to be a strong contributor to the Victorian economy.”

Mr Andrews said this policy builds on Victorian Labor’s Plan for Jobs and Growth released last year that outlined 67 practical and affordable initiatives that will secure Victoria’s economic future and undo the damage of the Baillieu/Napthine Government.

A key part of this plan was that it should become mandatory for all cars purchased by all government departments and agencies to be locally made vehicles.

“Just because Denis Napthine didn’t create the problem in the services industry or the auto industry, this doesn’t excuse him from trying to save Victorian jobs.

“There are very few problems for which the solution is to do nothing which is the repeated response of the Napthine Government,” Mr Andrews said.

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