BREAKING: Historic train promise for M’boro in budget reply
AN ALBANESE Labor Government would return Maryborough to its status as the train-building powerhouse of Australia.
That's the promise made by the nation's Opposition Leader in tonight's Federal Budget Reply where he told parliament his party would create a National Rail Manufacturing Plan.
"This is great news for the Fraser Coast, the proud home of Maryborough's Downer train manufacturing site," he said
"By manufacturing trains in Australia Labor's plan would create up to 659 full-time jobs, create a rolling stock export industry and boost Australia's GDP by up to $5 billion.
"An Albanese Labor Government would also:
- Establish an Office of National Rail Industry Coordination (ONRIC) within the Department of Industry, to undertake a national audit of the adequacy, capacity and condition of passenger trains and develop train priority plans;
- Reinstate the important role of the Rail Supplier Advocate cut by the Liberals in 2013, to help small and medium-sized enterprises identify export opportunities and to get a foot in the door with government purchasing bodies; and,
- Establish a Rail Industry Innovation Council, to prevent the loss of more jobs and address the need for more local research & development, skills and capabilities.
"Downer has been manufacturing trains in Maryborough for over 150 Years.
"The company currently employs 250 workers, and have recently taken on 13 new apprentices.
"Currently, Australia's state-based rail manufacturing sector is fragmented, inefficient and disconnected, leading to a 'boom and bust' cycle within the industry that hurts workers and businesses.
"The next two decades will see significant investment in rail infrastructure across Australian passenger, freight and light rail networks.
"Despite this significant pipeline of work, the Prime Minister's manufacturing announcement this month failed to recognise the importance of rail manufacturing.
"Labor's National Rail Manufacturing Plan will ensure the full benefit of this public spending goes towards creating Australian jobs - from laying the rails to manufacturing the trains.
Labor supports Australian industry."
"Australia can be a country that makes things, and Australian workers build some of the best trains in the world."
More to come.