Iconic train manufacturer ALSTOM is facing the very real prospect of shutting down production at its Ballarat manufacturing plant if it doesn’t win a contract to build new metro trains.
It comes after the company failed to make the cut for the competitive tender to build 25 new trains as part of a multibillion-dollar upgrade of the Dandenong rail corridor, which saw two Chinese companies being short-listed ahead of the local branch.
Alstom spokesman Sheldon Young told The Courier that the Ballarat factory had no work beyond June next year but said it would continue to build trains of the highest quality and stressed that no decision had been made about the future of the Creswick Road plant.
“At this point in time, we have visibility of manufacturing until July 2015 but we don’t have much visibility beyond July,” he said.
“Failure to secure additional work would place the facility at risk.”
Manufacturer’s Union Secretary, Steve Dargavel said both sides of politics need to show their support.
“Clearly ALSTOM does not have to close its doors, clearly it’s in the hands of the government to save this important manufacturing site, not only important for the jobs that are here today, but for the opportunities here tomorrow,” he said.
“There’s over $30 billion worth of work in rolling stock to be built for the Australian market, there’s no reason why ALSTOM should not in the local area capture a very large part of that market if it’s supported by the state government.”