AMWU celebrates $2bn victory for rail manufacturing


AMWU members are celebrating the successful outcome of their campaign that resulted in the allocation of $2 billion for the rail industry.

AMWU members at Ballarat train-maker Alstom Image credit:
AMWU members at Ballarat train-maker Alstom
Image credit:

Last week, Treasurer Tim Pallas unveiled the 2015-16 Victorian Budget which includes funds for public financing of the first 83 of the 100 new trains and 240 trams to be made in the State over the next decade.

The $2 billion Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025 – Victorian Rolling Stock Strategy also envisages that at least half the content must come from Australian suppliers.

The AMWU has called on all state governments to “seize the huge opportunity flowing from this historic investment” to kick-start an integrated national rail industry.

AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian said the investment would support work in rail shops for decades to come.

“The Andrews Government’s investment will help support up to 10,000 jobs in rail and associated industries,” Mr Bastian said in a news release.

“We now urge other State Governments to commit to a local build of their upcoming train projects, which could give suppliers across the country the critical mass of rolling orders to set them up for decades to come.”

Victorian Secretary Steve Dargavel said it was the biggest rail build in Victorian history, and a huge win for members.

“Members campaigned relentlessly for local procurement and local jobs before last year’s state election, and this is their victory,” he said.

He said the investment would allow domestic train to grow their business and create additional jobs.

UGL, Alstom and Downer can build high-quality trains and the 50% local content is a base for expanding to build carriage bodies and bogies here rather than flat-packing those in from overseas. What’s also heartening is a commitment from the Labor Government to develop TAFE programs for new apprentices and also to train new engineers which are essential to grow the industry as our existing workforce is ageing,” Dargavel said.