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Peak body calls for manufacturing rethink
THERE is the potential for thousands of jobs to be created in NSW and to support the State’s economic recovery from COVID-19 if more trains were built locally.
CEO of Weld Australia, Geoff Crittenden made the call after the major backlash against the State Government for sending rail, light rail and ferry contracts overseas.
“Reforming procurement practices in Australia would have deep benefits for local and national comments,” Mr Crittenden said.
Weld Australia is the peak body for welders in Australia.
“State government rail procurement practices that support local welders and fabricators would create thousands of jobs, supporting local families and local economies in a post COVID-19 world. It would facilitate technology transfer and drive some of the world’s most innovative research and development.”
The call for local manufacturing follows the NSW government’s dismissal of the talents of local rail manufacturers, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying that Australians were “not good at building trains” and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance saying train manufacturing does not exist in Australia.
NSW once had a thriving rail and tram building industry, turning some of the best vehicles in the world.
While Mr Crittenden highlighted that NSW had a heritage of building technically advanced train fleets, he also pointed to the potential for future improvements.
“With a long-term procurement commitment from the State Governments, rail industry manufacturers would have the confidence to reinvest in their own capabilities, strengthening the industry from within.” 
Mr Crittenden said with an extensive local maintenance and repair industry, the cost of whole of life support meant that it made sense to build more trains locally.
Having more consistent procurement standards between different states would improve the competitiveness of Australia-based manufacturers, Australasian Railway Association CEO Caroline Wilkie said.
Source: railexpress.com.au


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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