The latest building of the $9 billion North West Rail Link in Sydney has come under light by AMWU, who will step up pressure on the Liberal-National NSW Government to provide opportunity for local suppliers and not simply offshore the opportunity.
AMWU is demanding that the O’Farrell Government lock in a local content policy for the project to ensure that at least 75 per cent of the steel, building materials, components and rolling stock is sourced from Australian companies.
A rally of Australian manufacturing workers at Epping Station brought to light the concerns that the NSW government had refused to prioritise local work on the vital infrastructure project, instead leaving the processes open to price tender which could allow content to be sourced from foreign suppliers.
“The North West Rail Link will use more steel than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but currently there is no requirement to source Australian product. We’re concerned this NSW Liberal-National Coalition is so obsessed with short-term cost that they would sacrifice long-term economic benefit,” NSW State Secretary Tim Ayres said.
In a statement on the AMWU websites, the North West Rail Link, which will be bullt between the Chatswood and the Rouse Hill area, is one of the nation’s major infrastructure projects requiring 70,000 tonnes of steel, 400,000 cubic metres of concrete, 15 new train sets, eight new train stations and 23 km of double track.
Mr Ayres believes the NSW Liberal Government’s new procurement policy had discarded the price preferencing scheme for Australian manufacturing previously applicable under Labor and was silent on local content.
“This project is shaping up as one of the biggest outlays of public money for rail infrastructure in decades,” Mr Ayres said.
“If we do it right, the North West Rail Link can deliver far more than a quick trip to the city. It can engage industry, boost local jobs and secure skills and apprenticeships into the future,” he added.
AMWU has urged those who would like to see Australian content, as the preference, to send a message to the NSW Government at: www.buildthemhere.com