Local train building push gathers steam in regions

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union blitzed regional manufacturing centres this month calling for train building work to be reshored in Queensland, and slamming the former LNP government for ordering “shoddy” passenger trains from India.

AMWU State Secretary Rohan Webb visited Townsville and Rockhampton, following  the Queensland Government’s announcement that delivery of the new overseas trains would be halted following the discovery of significant problems with breaking, driver visibility, disability access, air-conditioning and ventilation.

Mr Webb slammed former LNP government Treasurer Tim Nicholls and former Transport Minister Scott Emerson for signing a $4.4B contract in 2014 for “shoddy trains” built in India.

“Queensland manufacturing workers have built Queensland trains in the past and they can do it again to a much higher standard than these  being built overseas,” said Mr Webb.

Townsville and Rockhampton are just two of the Queensland centres that have skills and infrastructure to manufacture rail related infrastructure.

“These trains should be built in Queensland, not in India,” he said.

The AMWU will continue to press for local manufacturers and workers to deliver the remaining 80 per cent of the fleet.

“The absolute tragedy in this whole story is we have manufacturing facilities across Queensland, from Townsville through to Rockhampton, through to Maryborough, through to Brisbane, laying idle,” he said.

“We’ve got the facilities, we’ve got the skills, we’ve got the know-how, we’ve got people looking for work.”

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