The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has welcomed the signing of a historic contract, which will deliver the biggest order of railcars to be manufactured in WA.
AMWU has spent years campaigning for local manufacturing jobs and apprenticeships to be brought back to WA so West Australians can build trains for West Australians.
The State Government should be congratulated for delivering its election commitment and signing the 10-year contract with world class train manufacturer Alstom.
The 246 new METRONET railcars are part of a 50 per cent manufacturing local content promise from the McGowan Government and a step in the right direction in diversifying our economy to create long term, stable, permanent jobs in Western Australia, for the next 30 years.
AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said the contract was set to create hundreds of jobs that in the past had gone to Queensland or overseas workers.
“This is an important milestone for local manufacturing in our State. In the past, our trains were built in Queensland and overseas with only two per cent of the work completed here. This contract demonstrates real manufacturing in WA, not a construction of some flat-packed train from overseas," he said.
“Real local manufacturing will mean better quality, safer trains for our State. I applaud Transport Minister Rita Saffioti’s 50 per cent local manufacturing commitment, which is a step in the right direction, although I think we can go even further in creating more jobs and skills locally.
“The last time the Midland workshops were used for manufacturing was back in 1994, the revitalisation of the new facility in Bellevue in partnership with the local TAFE should be just the beginning of creating more apprenticeships and local secure work.
“The METRONET railcar project has come in under budget, which should send a strong message that local manufacturing is sustainable and a future we should be aspiring to, not just for local jobs but for a way to diversify an economy that is so reliant on the mining industry,” Mr McCartney said.
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