NSW transport purchasing cost 4,000 jobs – Tim Ayres

Assistant Minister for Trade and for Manufacturing Tim Ayres has criticised NSW government purchasing policies that has led to numerous faults and the need for rework of public transport equipment.

Speaking on SkyNews Ayres said: “This Liberal Government in New South Wales off‑shored wave after wave of rail rolling stock, trams and ferries.

“Effective independent studies have underscored that that’s cost at least 4,000 jobs, just out of three of the five of those big infrastructure projects off‑shored.”

Ayres said the 4,000 jobs were mostly in the regions and in the outer suburbs where those jobs count.

“It’s a strong counterpoint to what’s happened in Victoria, and Queensland and Western Australia where (local manufacture) of rail rolling stock has led to a hundred per cent local construction in Queensland and Victoria and Western Australia.”

The federal government is developing a national rail manufacturing plan with three components:

  • Establish an Office of National Rail Industry Coordination within the Department of Industry
  • Establish a Rail Industry Innovation Council
  • And appoint a Rail Supplier Advocate, based on the work of the previous Rail Supplier Advocate.

NSW was recently talked of buying local in future after years of controversy over foreign purchased trams, intercity, double decker suburban and metro train.

Ayres said a procurement failure in New South Wales had led to higher costs, to the projects being delayed, and a series of reliability and quality issues that are still plaguing New South Wales’ fleets.

In some cases imported trains were too wide for tunnels and platforms, while in others ferries cannot carry passengers on the top deck when passing under bridges and still others where new Manly ferries are not only cracking, but suffering loss of steering control in rough conditions.

“Now, it’s important that we point to these failures because if we don’t recognise the problem, then we won’t be able to achieve the cooperation and reforms that are required to make sure that we’ve got effective national procurement strategy in rail.

“Now, this is multibillions of dollars’ worth of rail infrastructure and rolling stock going in every year.

“It is a real public good – you know, encouraging commuters off the roads and onto low emissions fast public transport is a really important economic reform for the country – and the New South Wales Government has just got this dead wrong over the course of the last decade.”

Ayres said he would like to see (NSW) shift its position.

“I’d like to see a commitment to local manufacturing here in New South Wales because it’ll lead to a better outcome.

“It’ll be better for taxpayers and commuters, but also it creates good blue-collar jobs in the regions where they really matter.”

Further reading:

Picture: Picture: Sydney’s RiverCat ferries were built in Queensland and fit under Sydney’s bridges

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