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AWMU slams Newman Government for ignoring home-based manufacturing

November 21, 2013 • News

The Newman government has named German-based Bombardier NGR consortium the winner of the tender for building 75 new six-car trains for the Queensland Rail Network.

Image credit: flickr.com User:  Queensland Rail

Image credit: flickr.com User: Queensland Rail

Premier Campbell did not disclose any details regarding the cost of the project but said it would cost a lot less than it would have under the previous government, reports CourierMail.

The decision to give the building contract to a foreign company was met with disbelief by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

In a media release the union’s state secretary Rohan Webb said the government’s decision to build the trains off-shore was openly shunning Queensland manufacturing.

“Queensland has the Downer EDI, a functioning facility in Maryborough, capable of such a project. So why send potential local jobs offshore – when we have the capacity to complete them on home soil?”

“Downer EDI at Maryborough has taken a beating in recent years after rail projects have gone overseas and was forced to withdraw from the tender process for this project because of the financial penalties throughout the contract.”

Mr. Webb blamed the Government for inflexibility and for imposing tough penalties in the contract, which resulted in Downer EDI pulling out from contention for building the trains. According to him, the deal with Downer would have kept jobs and brought economic stimulation in the local area.

“It is a crying shame Downer was forced into this position and Mr. Newman has openly acknowledged he is excluding local manufacturing – it is astounding. The rail manufacturing industry in Maryborough contributes to 30% of this regions’ economy and has provided employment and training opportunities for over three decades.”

Mr. Webb also accused the Government of lack of vision about the future of manufacturing, as well as the future of industries such as construction, agriculture and tourism.

“The rail manufacturing industry in Maryborough contributes to 30% of this regions’ economy and has provided employment and training opportunities for over three decades.Manufacturing is the lifeblood of many local communities the Government needs to acknowledge this.”

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