The Local Jobs First policy is continuing to deliver large-scale projects across the state whilst supporting local businesses. One of these projects is the Avon River Bridge upgrade.

A Local Jobs First project, the Avon River Bridge has provided opportunities for over twent-five local Victorian businesses during the construction phase.

The Avon River Bridge project forms part of the Gippsland line upgrade project and will improve reliability for passenger services on the line by duplicating the track, extending the Morwell crossing loop, upgrading level crossings and signalling whilst also adding second platforms at four stations along the line.

To date, more than approximately 1,100 tonnes of concrete have been poured to form the bridge deck and more than 15,000 cubic metres of earth has been moved to make its new embankments.

The new rail bridge is on track to be completed ahead of schedule, with trains expected to travel on the new structure from December of this year.

The new structure will enable trains to travel up to 90 km/h, a much-needed change to the current 10 km/h speed limit on the existing bridge.

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) has been the lead agency in the delivery of this project and through the Local Jobs First policy emphasised the use of regional businesses and employment networks where applicable – connecting local businesses with ongoing opportunities in the delivery of the Avon River Bridge project.

This not only supports the use of Victorian goods and services but also provides a number of economic benefits to local communities in the regions as well as learning opportunities for workers including cadets and apprentices.

RPV’s Avon River Bridge project team sought to embed local, social and Aboriginal procurement into project delivery through early engagement with bidding contractors during the Request for Tender (RFT) phase.

Leveraging the project’s partnership with industry networks GROW Gippsland and supported by the Industry Capability Network (ICN) RPV held a workshop with all three shortlisted contractors in Sale. The workshop sought to introduce shortlisted contractors to government projects aimed at improving social and economic outcomes in the region.

RPV’s commitment to the use of Victorian goods and services has resulted in over twenty-five local businesses providing goods and services in the construction phase of the Avon River Bridge project – a wonderful achievement.

Local Jobs First Commissioner, Don Matthews said: “As the Local Jobs First Commissioner’s, I am committed to advocating for the use of Victorian goods and services where applicable. The Avon River Bridge project is a great example of the ongoing commitment to the use of Victorian goods and services by an agency. I urge all other agencies, where possible, to consider the use of Victorian goods and services, rather than offshore products.”

With the number of upcoming projects in the pipeline, there will be many more opportunities to further support the use of Victorian goods and services across large-scale projects.

For a list of existing strategic projects, click here. Further information about this exciting project can be found here.