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Canberra confident of boosting rail car manufacturing – Ayres

Manufacturing News

The Assistant Minister for Manufacturing Senator Tim Ayres is confident that the federal government’s new National Rail Manufacturing Plan will see greater investment in industry and a growth in employment and apprentice training.

Interviewed on radio 2GB, Ayres was commenting on the just announced national procurement database providing ‘a one-stop-shop of rollingstock projects’, the National Rolling Stock Procurement Pipeline.

In response to journalist Chris O’Keefe, Ayres said that there were high quality manufacturers in the rail sector with great capability, including Knorr-Bremse in Granville in Sydney’s west which he visited this week (pictured).

Ayres said: “But what they need is a government that backs them and gives them a certain investment horizon so that they know they’re not just investing for a contract that goes for two years, but that they know that there is going to be a steady pattern of work out there.

“And that’s what the Albanese government’s Future Made in Australia approach and our national rail manufacturing plan is all about, working with the states to coordinate these multi billion dollar procurement platforms, so that it maximises the chances for investment here in Australia and so that we can work with companies to deliver apprenticeships and jobs.”

Ayres said the new procurement database provided a publicly accessible insight into the ordering platforms of all of the states.

“Actually, what it does over time is it means we can lower costs, they actually get local manufacturing and lower costs, so a better deal for taxpayers and higher quality.”

Ayres criticised the former NSW coalition government for offshoring thousands of jobs overseas and leading to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of disinvestment in NSW.

“We are going to row in exactly the opposite direction.”

Ayres said all the states were buying in and cooperating with the national plan.

“What’s in it for them? Lower costs, local manufacturing and all of the jobs and investment that comes with that, higher quality and means we’ve got a stronger platform to deal with some of the big issues that are coming up in public transport.”

Victoria has a well established rail car procurement programme from local industry and Queensland and Western Australia have both accelerated rail car manufacturing. NSW is also moving to buy locally

Ayres said: “And what I’m determined to do is to make sure that we take this opportunity to lock in long term decisions.”

Picture: Senator Tim Ayres at Knorr-Bremse, Granville, Sydney

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