Over the weekend, WA Labor announced that if elected they will implement a 15-year rolling stock (railcars) strategy, as part of their METRONET transportation plan, to grow the manufacturing industry and create ongoing jobs and apprenticeships.
As a part of Labor’s commitment to prioritising local labour on State Government projects, the new $410 million METRONET railcar build will maximise local opportunities, with an aim to achieve more than 50 per cent of the railcar manufacturing here in WA.
The proposed rolling stock strategy will include 78 new passenger railcars for METRONET Stage 1, as well as renewal of the passenger railcars on the existing train lines and replacement passenger railcars for the Australind train.
This is a great win for our campaign to push both sides of politics to develop a plan for WA jobs. Western Australians are currently only receiving two per cent of the work on WA’s railcar contracts. To put things in perspective, the Victorian Government is now achieving 60 per cent of local work for their new trains.
By committing to prioritising employing local people and developing local industry, WA reaps the greatest benefit from the hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds that will be used in this project. With the money going back into the WA economy, hundreds of businesses and thousands of workers in WA will receive a boost both directly and indirectly from the increased economic activity.
With a 15-year project timeline, hundreds of long term jobs will be create by this project. In addition, WA Labor has also committed to identifying apprenticeship and training opportunities on this project and will work with TAFEs and universities to ensure that our young people will be provided with the training they’ll need to become long term members of the rail manufacturing industry.
This policy is exactly what we’ve been campaigning for: a strategically planned long term project based around investing taxpayer dollars into developing local industries and creating jobs that will provide for current and future generations of WA workers.
We’re looking forward to seeing more of these types of policies from WA Labor and we’re hopeful that the current government will follow suit with projects of its own to support local workers and a create a better tomorrow through a real plan for WA jobs.
To read more about the proposed project, click here.