The Federal Labor Opposition has promised to spend an additional $200 million on the WA Government’s Metronet rail program, including $50 million to support local rollingstock manufacturing.
Shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese on March 21 said an elected Labor Government at the upcoming Federal election would spend $50 million to fund construction of a new railcar manufacturing facility at Bellevue.
He also committed an additional $150 million to build the Morley-Ellenbrook line, bringing Federal Labor’s total commitment to that project to $850 million.
The extra Morley-Ellenbrook funding will help build a new platform at the upgraded Bayswater station, where the future Morley-Ellenbrook line will connect to the existing Midland line.
Meanwhile the $50 million for the railcar manufacturing facility will support the state government’s plans to locally manufacture 246 new railcars under the Metronet program.
Shortlisted parties recently submitted formal tenders for that train order.
Albanese said local manufacturing would be paramount to the continued success of rail in Australia.
“Over the coming two decades, governments around the country will invest billions of dollars in new passenger and freight rail projects,” he said in a statement.
“While Coalition governments have been happy to source new rollingstock offshore, Federal Labor would ensure that, as far as possible, manufacturing associated with this work is conducted locally.”
Labor has committed to a National Rail Manufacturing Plan, which would see it work with states, businesses, training providers and unions to turn new railway projects into local manufacturing jobs.
“Labor is determined to ensure that we not only invest in better public transport across Australia, but also use those investments to create jobs and training opportunities for young Australians.”
WA premier Mark McGowan said he was happy to see Federal Labor aiming to out-bid the Coalition for rail spending in the west.
“Bill Shorten’s original $700 million commitment to the Morley-Ellenbrook line put pressure on the Federal Government to commit $500 million as part of last year’s budget,” the premier said. “This additional funding boost will help my government get on with the job and delivering this important job-creating infrastructure for the growing north-eastern suburbs.”