The Federal Government has released the National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy, outlining the steps it is taking to help grow a sustainable rail manufacturing sector, increase productivity, international competitiveness and industry participation.
Expanding on the initiative at AusRAIL PLUS 2023, Assistant Manufacturing Minister Tim Ayres said delivering the Strategy in partnership with the States and Territories would support jobs in the outer suburbs and regions by helping to ensure high-quality, low-emissions passenger and freight trains are made in Australia.
The Strategy has six pillars:
- Develop a nationally coordinated approach to rolling stock procurement
- Harmonise standards for manufacturing rolling stock
- Adopt a national local content approach
- Maximise opportunities for freight and heavy haul rail manufacturing
- Improve research and innovation outcomes in the rail sector
- Establish the foundation for good jobs and rewarding careers in rail manufacturing
“The Strategy is part of the National Rail Manufacturing Plan – an election commitment to lift productivity, improve social and environmental outcomes and create economic value,” Ayres said.
“The Government has already delivered on earlier commitments in the Plan including establishing the Office of National Rail Industry Coordination (ONRIC), and the appointment of a National Rail Manufacturing Advocate and Rail Industry Innovation Council.
“ONRIC has been working closely with industry, state and territory governments, unions and the research community to develop the Strategy. This important collaboration will continue throughout implementation.
“We want to make more things here – we’re rebuilding domestic industrial capability so Australia can make high-value products for our country, our region, and the world.
“The National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy is the framework for the Commonwealth and the States and Territories to work together to help ensure passenger and freight rail rolling stock is built here in Australia.
“Building an enduring rail manufacturing industry means good jobs, high quality trains and lower costs for taxpayers and the States and Territories.
“A report by the Australasian Railway Association found that taxpayers would have saved $1.85 billion over the last 10 years if state rolling stock contracts had been better coordinated.”
Also speaking at the conference, National Rail Manufacturing Advocate Jacqui Walters said the collaboration between industry, governments and the research sector in developing this strategy had established a strong foundation for ongoing cooperation and delivery.
“It has been a privilege to play a role in shaping this vision for the Australian rail manufacturing sector,” she said.
“I look forward to working closely with industry, governments and the Rail Industry Innovation Council throughout 2024 and beyond on the Strategy’s key aims to improve competitiveness, innovation, and growth within the rail manufacturing industry.”