With only 12 sitting days left until the 2018 State Election, the Victorian Parliament has turned its attention to two important legislative proposals that will have important implications for Victorian business.
The Victorian Government is seeking to put local jobs first with legislation that will mandate minimum local content on major Victorian projects. The government is also proposing new environmental protection laws to strengthen risk management practices for preventing waste and pollution.
The Victorian Chamber has been working closely with the Government and Opposition on both pieces of legislation, to ensure Victorian business interests are front and centre of the proposed changes.
Victorian Industry Participation Policy (Local Jobs First) Amendment Bill 201
The Victorian Industry Participation Policy (Local Jobs First) Amendment Bill 2018 will strengthen the use of local businesses, apprentices, trainees and cadets in major Victorian projects.
The Bill proposes to set 90 per cent minimum local content requirements for strategic capital projects, 80 per cent minimum local content for strategic maintenance contracts and establish a Commissioner to monitor compliance and ensure local content targets are being met. The Bill will also allow the Government to mandate the amount of local steel or uniforms and personal protective equipment being used in a project.
While the Victorian Chamber has welcomed the Bill and its focus on increasing business opportunities for involvement in government purchasing, we are working with the Government and Opposition to address the following concerns:
Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018
The Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018 will introduce new laws based on an enforceable general environmental duty that, unlike in other states and territories, could lead to criminal and civil penalties for breaches. On the upside, more positive reforms include:
The Victorian Chamber has urged the Government to assist businesses to comply with the new environmental duty by providing access to scientific advice and expertise. This includes maintaining a readily accessible register that identifies and rates risks to environmental and human health, based on the expert assessment of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
We are also seeking the removal of the proposal to make public the environmental information of licence holders and that contentious new community rights to take direct action through a court for alleged breaches of environment protection laws be reconsidered to ensure frivolous and vexatious actions are minimised.
All media enquiries may be directed to the Media and Communications Manager.
For all other enquiries, please contact the Victorian Chamber on (03) 8662 5333.