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Canberra moves to boost rail manufacturing

Manufacturing News

The federal government has announced the establishment of an Office of National Rail Industry Coordination (ONRIC).

According to a statement the office will lead a national and coordinated approach to address challenges facing the rail manufacturing sector.

The office will deliver the government’s $14.2 million National Rail Manufacturing Plan, part of the government’s A Future Made in Australia commitment.

According to the government: “It will create skilled manufacturing jobs by building more trains in Australia.

“The office will work closely with state and territory governments, manufacturers, industry peak bodies, unions and research organisations to implement the plan.”

The Office of National Rail Industry Coordination will:

  • Establish a Rail Industry Innovation Council to boost local research and development, skills and capabilities
  • Appoint a rail supplier advocate to help small and medium-sized enterprises access export and government supply opportunities
  • And develop a National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy to support industry productivity and facilitate opportunities for Australian manufacturers.

Rail manufacturing – or its lack – has become a major political issue in several Australian states.

While Western Australia and Queensland have both boosted local investment, the New South Wales government has been heavily criticised for purchasing rail cars from overseas.

Picture: Alstom/WA Premier Mark McGowan and Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti inaugurate Alstom’s new train manufacturing facility in Perth in June, 2021

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