Wednesday, 7 February 2018
I, and also on behalf of Senator Carr, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the NSW government has awarded $4 billion in contracts to build the Intercity and Waratah train fleets overseas, and
(ii) this decision by the NSW government will impact local rail manufacturers and supply chain businesses, and puts up to 15 000 existing jobs across Australia at risk; and
(b) calls on the Commonwealth and all states to cooperate and strengthen rail manufacturing in Australia by:
(i) establishing a National Rail Manufacturing Industry Plan to maximise the benefits from the $46 billion investment expected over the next decade,
(ii) working together to achieve a long-term, sustainable and efficient rail industry that will provide job security for local rail manufacturers,
(iii) harmonising safety standards that would maximise manufacturing efficiencies, and
(iv) working with the rail industry to develop Rail Industry Skills Centres at local TAFE and colleges, and ensuring the use of local apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets for at least ten per cent of the total labour hours.
The coalition government is committed to Australia's rail manufacturing industry. In the 2017-18 budget, the government renewed its commitment to invest in rail infrastructure with $20 billion committed over the next decade. The government's major rail initiatives include $8.4 billion in equity funding for inland rail, $10 billion over 10 years for a national rail program to improve urban and regional rail networks, $792 million to progress Metronet projects in Western Australia, $20 million for up to three business cases for faster rail connections between major capital cities and regional centres, and a number of significant measures included in the June 2017 $1.6 billion Victorian rail announcement.