Local jobs boost under Nationals

14 November 2018

Local businesses like LS Precast concrete plant will have the security of future work for the next decade if The Nationals are elected to government, underpinning jobs in Benalla.

Shadow Roads and Infrastructure Minister David Hodgett joined Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan at Lima South Quarry today to announce that an elected Liberal Nationals government would change government procurement policy and tender processes to encourage participation of local regional businesses in local projects.

The work will come from the Liberal Nationals $19 billion plan to revolutionise regional rail, construction of the East West link and North East link.

Ms Ryan said the policy would see thousands of jobs created in regional Victoria in communities like Benalla.

“Labor MPs have played plenty of politics over these jobs but won’t guarantee work to the plant beyond 2022,” Ms Ryan said.

“If the Liberals and Nationals are elected to government Benalla businesses like LS Precast concrete plant will receive enough government work to stay in operation for the next decade, underwriting local jobs.”

Ms Ryan and Mr Hodgett also announced a commitment of $800,000 to upgrade Williams Rd at Lima South to cope with an increase in the number of quarry trucks.

“Council have applied for funding from Labor to upgrade this road to deal with the increase in traffic that is expected from the quarry but the government has not progressed it,” Ms Ryan said. 

“We will provide $800,000 through our Country Roads and Bridges Fund to fix the road and improve the safety of the intersection with the Midland Hwy.”

Mr Hodgett said the Liberals and Nationals’ plan would guarantee local jobs for local projects.

“We welcome the decision by a private company to create new jobs here in Benalla and if we are elected to government, there will be enough work to underwrite these jobs for the next decade,” Mr Hodgett said. 

“Labor has twisted a decision by the Liberals and Nationals to force the Premier to reveal details of the $5.5 billion contract with Transurban that he signed behind closed doors as us opposing the concrete plant.

“We have never opposed to creation of local jobs or the construction of the concrete plant. We do, however, believe that Victorians have the right to see the details of a $5.5 billion deal that never went to tender.

“Unlike Daniel Andrews, who has failed to guarantee jobs at the plant beyond two years, our infrastructure program means Lima South will be able to tender for work long beyond the West Gate distributor project.

“Too often, small and medium size businesses in regional Victoria are locked out of government tenders, unable to bid against larger Melbourne based firms.

“The Liberal Nationals will break down large regional infrastructure projects into smaller components, enabling regional businesses like LS Precast to tender in its own right, rather than just hope for subcontracting work,” Mr Hodgett said. 

A future Liberal Nationals government will also work with departments, local councils, chamber of commerce, regional business groups and small and medium size businesses to actively promote government tenders and work to educate businesses how to participate in bidding for large regional infrastructure projects.

Encouraging job growth in regional Victoria is the cornerstone of the Liberal Nationals’ plan to decentralise Victoria. 

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