The Victorian Government has made a step leap in relation to social procurement through its major infrastructure works. Over $25 billion in infrastructure projects being delivered over the next 5-10 years have a mandatory requirement that suppliers deliver 2.5% of project hours through indigenous employment and 10% of project hours through apprentices and trainees. On top of this the state requires the creation of employment for disadvantaged Victorians through direct employment or through their supply chain.
Victoria is not the first mover in this space, with many state governments heading down this path. What is noteworthy though, is the sheer scale of the projects in Victoria. The Level Crossing Removal Project will exceed $10 billion, the Melbourne Metropolitan Rail Tunnel has been quoted at $11 billion and the Western Distributor $5 billion. They are all enormous projects in their own right and will deliver much needed infrastructure, but they also offer an incredible opportunity to reduce disadvantage in Victoria.
It is exciting to consider the incredible opportunity for learnings provided by this opportunity. By staffing internal positions to support these social objectives the State will actually be able to capture the outputs and refine the approaches. It will be fascinating to understand how many lives will be affected by this initiative.
The Victorian Governments commitment is part of a broader recognition in Australia and internationally, that procurement is a powerful tool in creating a fairer and more just society.