VIC gov appoints Local Jobs First Commissioner

Victoria’s Minister for Industry and Employment, Ben Carroll, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Don Matthews, a senior executive from the manufacturing industry, as the inaugural Local Jobs First Commissioner for the state.

The Local Jobs First Commissioner will be an advocate for businesses, workers, apprentices, trainees and cadets, ensuring that they continue to benefit from Victorian Government procurement.

The Commissioner will also oversee compliance of local content and workforce commitments.

Don Matthews has been appointed as the first Local Jobs First Commissioner for Victoria.

Matthews is currently the Chair of various Boards and has held several senior roles in industry, including Chief Operating Officer at Amcor Australasia, President SCA Hygiene Australasia and most recently Executive Director of the Industry Capability Network Victoria, whose role is to facilitate opportunities for local businesses to work on major projects.

Established under the Local Jobs First Act 2003, the Local Jobs First Bill was enshrined in law in August this year, ensuring that all Victorian Government departments and agencies must apply local jobs first for contracts valued at $1 million or more in regional Victoria, or $3 million or more in metropolitan Melbourne.

Read: VIC gov’s new bill to increase share of local workforce, SMEs in public projects

It also requires mandated job opportunities be created for apprentices, trainees and cadets on projects worth over $20 million.

Since 2014, Victoria’s government has set minimum local content requirements on 100 strategic projects – valued at $58 billion and creating tens-of-thousands of jobs.

Minister Caroll said the Local Jobs First Commissioner will be instrumental in ensuring that local content and employment requirements are met.

“As we remove level crossings, build roads, schools and hospitals, deliver new trains, trams and buses we are using our purchasing power to put local jobs and local businesses first. The Local Jobs First Commissioner will enforce these new laws to make sure local content and employment requirements are met,” Caroll said.