New Rail Collaboration Centre boosts local manufacturing in Western Australia

Image credit: Premier Roger Cook's LinkedIn

The Western Australian Government is set to strengthen local freight railcar manufacturing by establishing the Rail Collaboration Centre (RCC) in Karratha, with additional hubs in Newman and Perth.

Minister Assisting the Minister for State and Industry Development, Jobs, and Trade Stephen Dawson announced a $998,000 funding package to support the CORE Innovation Hub in its efforts to enhance manufacturing and employment opportunities within Western Australia’s rail sector.

This funding, made available under the WA Government’s Local Manufacturing Investment Fund (LMIF), aims to facilitate the local assembly, manufacture, servicing, research, and development of rail freight wagons.

The RCC is anticipated to create avenues for local manufacturing, stimulate new industry activity, generate employment opportunities, and localise training initiatives.

Serving as a crucial collaboration platform, the centre will undertake world-class testing, research, and development of new rolling stock, infrastructure, technology, and ideas, addressing a strategic gap in the region.

A key focus of the RCC will be supporting and delivering activity and capability in the Pilbara region, aligning with the area’s significance in the state’s industrial landscape.

Operated independently by the CORE Innovation Hub, the centre, as a partner of the Australasian Rail Association, will receive guidance from members of their Heavy Haul Executive Committee, representing major heavy haul operators.

The WA Government’s $15 million LMIF reflects an election commitment to supporting local companies, aiming to enhance their competitiveness and contribute to the growth of Western Australia’s manufacturing sector.

The establishment of the RCC underscores the government’s dedication to fostering innovation, creating employment opportunities, and ensuring the sustainability of the local rail manufacturing industry.

Minister Dawson commented that the establishment of a new Rail Collaboration Centre would result in the creation of jobs, training opportunities, and a significant enhancement in the local manufacturing of rail freight wagons.

He mentioned that this initiative is part of the government’s Local Manufacturing Investment Fund and serves to support the rail industry.

“Being able to locally assemble, manufacture, service, carry out research and development, and drive innovation for wagons, are fantastic developments for the Pilbara region,” the minister noted.

“The LMIF provides a boost to local companies and ensures our State remains competitive in an ever-changing market, putting WA at the forefront of new technologies and innovations,” he concluded.