SA Premier Jay Weatherill has announced a $300 million investment over the next ten years for the supply of 400 new buses that will service the Adelaide Metro network.
The 400 new buses will replace aging buses and those that approach the compulsory retirement age of 25 years.
In making the announcement, Mr Weatherill said a tailored Industry Participation Plan will require the successful tenderer to ‘maximise opportunities’ for local industry and local jobs.
“Upgrading Adelaide Metro’s fleet with 400 new buses has the potential to provide a boost to local manufacturing, secure hundreds of local jobs and further modernise our public transport network,” the Premier said.
“Our tailored Industry Participation Plan will ensure local companies have the best opportunity to deliver these buses.”
He said South Australian companies have already shown they possess the skills and expertise to participate in the project, with Adelaide-based Precision Components producing next generation electric and low emission buses.
“Thanks to $2 million in State Government funding under the Northern Economic Plan, Precision Components has manufactured two electric and two low-carbon buses as part of their diversification strategy after supplying the automotive industry for more than 20 years,” Mr Weatherill continued.
“Their success in developing the first Australian designed, engineered and manufactured electric bus has led to an agreement to supply 50 low carbon buses interstate.”
Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said it was a testament to the SA’s highly skilled automotive workforce and the history of its auto industry that the first ever Australian designed, engineered and manufactured electric bus for use on a public transport system will be made in the State.
“This Precision Busses project demonstrates how capable our automotive workers are, with skills that can be used in advanced manufacturing and other industries.”
“The State Government is committed to supporting workers into transitioning into new roles and helping businesses to diversify,” Mr Maher concluded.
According to the State Government’s media statement, each bus will be required to comply with all relevant regulations, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.
The first buses are expected to join the fleet in late 2018.