Local jobs advocate given stronger powers to put South Australians first

07 June 2017

SA Government: The State’s local jobs watchdog will be enshrined in law with stronger powers to ensure Government contracts and projects employ more South Australian workers and use more South Australian materials.

The Government will this week introduce the Industry Advocate Bill 2017 to establish the local jobs advocate as a statutory position.

The Industry Participation Advocate, Ian Nightingale, will have the power to compel contractors to provide information and documents to ensure they are complying with their contractual obligations to employ South Australian workers and use South Australian materials.

The Bill will be accompanied by an updated SA Industry Participation Policy, with a stronger focus on regional development, growth and investment attraction to the State.

Currently, local products, materials and labour make up about 80 per cent of State Government goods and services contracts and around 90 per cent of major infrastructure projects.

Since 2015, all State Government projects have been required to use steel which meets Australian standards and certification, giving the Arrium steelworks at Whyalla a competitive advantage over lower quality imports.

An example of the success of the Government’s policies to put South Australians first is the $985 million Northern Connector project. So far, approximately 97 per cent of on-site labour is by South Australian workers while the project is using about 7500 tonnes of steel from the Arrium steelworks in Whyalla.


Ian Nightingale was appointed as the first Industry Participation Advocate in 2013.

Since then, the proportion of State Government goods and services contracts awarded to South Australian suppliers has increased from 65 per cent to about 80 per cent. This increase creates an additional $230 million in annual economy activity in South Australia.

In addition, about 90 per cent of major infrastructure projects now use South Australian products, materials and labour.

All State Government projects are required to use steel which meets Australian standards and certification, giving the local steel industry a competitive advantage against lower quality imports.

If the advocate finds a contractor is not complying with their contractual obligations, the advocate can direct the contractor to comply or refer the matter to the Minister for further action, which may include pursuing a breach of contract.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

The State Government is proudly putting South Australian jobs first.

We’re backing South Australian workers and suppliers, and now we’re giving the local jobs advocate stronger powers to ensure contractors also put South Australians first.

Mr Nightingale has been a champion for SA and he’s increased the local share of jobs and content in Government contracts.

All of this helps grow our economy and create more jobs for South Australians.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Chris Picton

Embedding the Industry Advocate’s role in legislation reinforces this Government’s strong commitment to securing jobs for South Australians.

In 2013, Steven Marshall promised to abolish this important role. His short-sighted approach has been exposed by Mr Nightingale’s outstanding results.

The Liberals must support this important piece of legislation and back local jobs.




Source:  South Australian Government - www.premier.sa.gov.au

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