My matter is for the Minister for Industry Support and Recovery.
However, this issue potentially overlaps a number of different portfolios – so I would understand and appreciate it if he chose to redirect some or all of it to another Minister on my behalf.
I raise the matter following some recent emails that I have received from a tenderer for the supply of building products on a significant current project. I understand the Minister may also have received the same or similar emails.
What has been conveyed in those emails is that, at the new youth justice facility being built at Cherry Creek, certain opportunities for participation have not been afforded to Victorian manufacturing and/or construction companies.
In particular, it has become apparent that the main façade feature of the new buildings at Cherry Creek is derived from a product that is actually manufactured in Queensland. This is despite the fact that a very similar style and quality of product is available from at least one Victorian manufacturer.
On the basis of what has been written in the emails, the Victorian product is also reportedly less expensive – and comes from the same range of products that has been approved for (and is being used on) works on the Chisholm Road Prison project at Lara.
In fact, the emailer makes quite a number of interesting points in relation to these issues.
Many of those centre on how this decision to seemingly favour the Queensland product tallies with the Government’s policies and legislation on local industry participation. As the Minister will of course be very well aware, the Local Jobs First Policy requires the specific identification of the prospective use of local, Victorian content as part of tenders for all State Government projects of at least $1 million in value in regional Victoria and (as is the case with Cherry Creek) at least $3 million in metropolitan Melbourne.
I don’t intend at the moment to make any judgements about what may or may not be happening in the use of local content in the Cherry Creek project.
Instead, I seek action from the Minister in the form of clarification of two key, interrelated issues here.
To be more specific about that, I am wondering if he could indicate the overall percentage of content on the Cherry Creek project that is made in
Victoria – and, as an important part of that, why the Local Jobs First Policy requirements were apparently not exercised in favour of the Victorian façade feature manufacturer.