Orca Civil helping to build Victoria’s infrastructure

Published: 28 June 2019

In August 2018, the Victorian Government's Local Jobs First Policy was enshrined in law through the passing of the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (Local Jobs First) Amendment Bill, which mandated minimum local content on major construction and infrastructure projects.

OrcaDrain products in use at the Nicholson Street Tram stop
OrcaDrain products in use at the Nicholson Street Tram stop

This flagship policy has enabled a fair and equal opportunity for Victorian businesses and workers to participate in large state-wide government projects.

Orca Civil is one of many Victorian businesses making a difference to Victorian infrastructure and projects through the Local Jobs First Policy.

An Australian owned and operated business, Orca Civil was successful in obtaining contract work with Yarra Trams, providing them with custom made products through their specialised OrcaDrain range.

Director Ken Williams said "We are proud to supply quality Australian products and to be part of the industry building Victoria's infrastructure. We all take special pride in seeing our products utilised in these large projects which positively improve the welfare of the community. Particular thanks are due to Local Jobs First and the Commissioner. With their support, we have been able to raise the profile of our business and bring our products and manufacturing capacity to the attention of the key decision makers in infrastructure projects."

Don Matthews
 and Ken Williams
In this photo, from left to right: Don Matthews (Local Jobs First Commissioner) & Ken Williams (Orca Civil, Director)

Ken and fellow Director Alan Travers spent two years relocating their high-tech, polymer concrete plant from China to Australia. While it did not come without its challenges, Ken Williams had this piece of advice for other similar businesses wanting to take the leap "Don't underestimate the efficiency savings and improved customer relationships and service that can be achieved by bringing production onshore.

Alan further said that "Since our relocation and re-commissioning we have enjoyed a refreshingly different legislative environment. The Victorian Government has been approachable and proactive in their assistance and have been instrumental in guiding us through roadblocks to having our products considered for infrastructure projects. Their assistance has allowed our business to develop considerably and correspondingly increase our local employment numbers." 

The decision to relocate to Australia was a difficult one and one that did not come easy.  Alan said, "The costs in moving such a large sized plant were considerable and the disruption to our business difficult to overestimate."

However, in 2014, Orca Civil decommissioned their plant, containerised their equipment in dozens of shipping containers and relocated to Victoria.  A move that has since seen Orca Civil not only grow and increase sales, but more importantly – increase local employment rates and provide locally manufactured products not only to Victoria, but Australia-wide.

Victorian Local Jobs First Commissioner, Don Matthews, visited Orca Civil showing his support for local businesses. "This is what the Local Jobs First Policy is about, to support and give Victorian businesses a fair go. Thanks to the Local Jobs First Policy, we are seeing many more local businesses like Orca Civil providing quality products and services to large state-wide government projects. "

With such significant infrastructure projects happening across the state, the opportunities for local businesses and workers will continue to grow. 

Local businesses interested in supplying goods and services to Local Jobs First projects are encouraged to register with the Industry Capability Network.