Opposition leader Michael Daley.
Opposition leader Michael Daley.

Labor pledges to legislate on local jobs

NEW legislation designed to put local jobs first would be introduced by a Daley Labor Government if elected at the March 23 state election.

Opposition leader Michael Daley has pledged to introduce new legislation requiring all of the NSW Government to prioritise local jobs when procuring goods, services and infrastructure.

The NSW Jobs Act will require State Government departments, agencies, statutory authorities and government trading entities to consider local jobs, local skills and local industry when making procurement decisions, and to only deal with businesses which pay their workers fairly and adhere to safe work practices.

Every NSW State Government contract will be assessed on how it can deliver more local jobs.

The NSW Jobs Act will be modelled on the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 and the Victorian Local Jobs First Act 2003.

Labor candidate for Coffs Harbour Tony Judge says the act will help reverse years of sending jobs and work overseas.

"Labor will put local businesses and workers first after eight years of the Berejiklian Liberal and National Government sending both jobs and service contracts offshore," Mr Judge says.

"Firms bidding for IT contacts have been required to hire at least one third of their programmers overseas, and contracts for building trains and buses have been sent to China, Spain and South Korea.

Labour Candidate for seat of Coffs Harbour Tony Judge. 22 JAN 2019
Labor candidate for seat of Coffs Harbour Tony Judge. TREVOR VEALE

"The state of NSW has tremendous purchasing power and a Daley Labor Government will use that power to back local workers, employers and industry."

Labor will also create a special unit in the Department of Industry to assist small to medium businesses with the new government tendering process, and to identify opportunities for expansion and investment off the back of government work, particularly in regional NSW.

Mr Daley says the State Government must prioritise local workers and employers.

"Labor can and will do so much more to help local workers and industry," he said.

Labor will also develop the skilled workforce in NSW by requiring 20 per cent of work on major NSW government construction projects is allocated to a combination of apprentices, trainees, long-term unemployed and indigenous Australians.

"The number of apprentices and trainees in NSW has plummeted since the Liberals and Nationals came to office in 2011, from more than 79,000 to less than 36,000," Mr Daley said.