A program linking regional and rural businesses to major infrastructure projects will be rolled out across Victoria beginning this month after the Brumby Labor Government today committed $150,000 to the project.
Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan said the extension of the government’s Regional Industry Link program would offer more jobs for Victorians employed by small and medium businesses across the state.
“The pilot connected 3000 businesses from 26 regional and rural councils to $9 billion worth of private and public building projects across Victoria during its 18 month trial period,” Ms Allan said.
“Such projects included the Goldfields Superpipe, Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline and the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project.
“As a result of the links, regional Victorian businesses participating in the pilot were able to secure $15 million in contracts and generate 250 jobs on top of their regular business.”
Ms Allan said the $150,000 funding would ensure Regional Industry Link could now be extended to all 79 Victorian councils.
“Regional Industry Link is one way this government is helping to secure jobs for all Victorians by giving small to medium businesses a competitive leg-up in obtaining contracts for major private and public projects,” she said.
“The funding will help upgrade the website and provide dedicated project management and administrative support to ensure the project continues to be a success as it moves to a larger scale.”
Ms Allan said the roll-out followed endorsement from the regional development Ministerial Council held in Bendigo in August last year.
“Regional development ministers across Australia agreed to extend the program to cover all Victorian municipalities and asked the Brumby Government to lead a feasibility study for a further rollout across all Australian and New Zealand municipalities,” she said.
“The Victorian extension will ensure the government can continue to secure jobs for all Victorians regardless of how big or small their business is.
“The program will be managed by the Industry Capability Network Victoria and the website updated to allow participants from right across Victoria to register.
“Small to medium businesses can sign up to Regional Industry Link online at www.regionalindustrylink.com.au for their share of support in securing contracts on Victoria’s major infrastructure projects.”
The Brumby Labor Government’s $150,000 contribution will be sourced from the Buy Local fund.