Alexandra DSE project shows how to maximise local content and jobs with ICN
Local manufacturers, suppliers and contractors have benefited from the construction of the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s new $13M office and depot complex in Alexandra.
By working proactively with the Industry Capability Network (ICN) Victoria, project manager Johnstaff Projects together with their architects and construction firm were able to maximise the use of local content during the building’s construction resulting in an overall 90% level of Australian or New Zealand (ANZ) value-added content, job creation and the strengthening of the area’s local supply chains that were affected by bushfires.
According to Matt Clements from Johnstaff Projects, the collaboration resulted in a focus on using Australian made products wherever possible and engaging local contractors. 
“Almost as soon as we were awarded this project our staff contacted ICN to discuss maximising its ANZ value and meeting the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) requirements. 
We are confident that together we achieved our goal to maximise ANZ value for this project. On the rare occasion whereby a local item had to be substituted for an imported one, for example where certain tiles were not available, JMA Architect’s spoke with ICN first to double-check no other local manufacturer could otherwise provide these items. 
Johnstaff Projects has a strong commitment towards continuing to maximise the economic development potential not only for our current regional projects but all future regional projects and encourages its consultant teams and managing contractors to think when it comes to suppliers and contractors. It is through ICN’s networks, services and support that will enable us to continue achieving these goals.” 
ICN assisted this project by providing VIPP briefings to all parties at proposal stage, as well as input into the design specifications highlighting locally manufactured products and sourcing advice. They also provided lists of local trades and suppliers to construction contractor Hansen Yuncken.
Bob Elkington, Murrindindi Shire Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Manager, has welcomed the efforts by Johnstaff Projects and Hansen Yuncken to engage local contractors and maximise local jobs from concept through to construction: 
“Our Council has worked with ICN a number of times to help local firms break into larger construction projects in our area including the Sugarloaf Pipeline project, the Grocon-lead bushfire clean up and the bushfire reconstruction works undertaken by Bovis Lend Lease and those managed by the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority. 
Whenever a larger project comes up we liaise with ICN because they have a good track record of funnelling local capable firms into these projects.
I’m confident in the fact that many of the local contractors ICN connected with Hansen Yuncken for participation in this project will stay on that firm’s books and be invited to tender for upcoming work. This has not been the only positive outcome. I am sure that the local businesses have also improved their internal business development and tendering practices making them more likely to gain subcontract work with the next larger construction firm to win work in the area.”