NSW workers launch campaign to build public transport here

The future of local manufacturing will be a key issue in the NSW state election, with all candidates being asked commit to designing, building and maintaining our trains, trams, buses and ferries in NSW.


The Build Them Here campaign, supported by the AMWU and the RTBU, will be launched in Penrith today, with Labor candidate for Penrith Karen McKeown to be the first to sign the candidate’s pledge.

A campaign video featuring workers from the public transport and manufacturing industries is also being released.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) NSW & ACT State Secretary Cory Wright said Australian manufacturing workers are some of the best in the world.

“For decades, workers in Sydney, the Hunter, the Illawarra and the regions built the public transport that keeps NSW running,” Cory Wright said.

“But for 12 years, the Liberals and Nationals have privatised and offshored our public transport needs – sending billions of dollars and thousands of jobs offshore.

“We lost a generation of manufacturing workers, their skills, and their knowledge.

“We built them here once. Let's build them here again.”

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Locomotive Division Secretary Farren Campbell said the history of overseas-built trains, trams, buses and ferries in NSW was littered with cost blow-outs delays, and defects.

“From trains that can’t be operated safely, trams that crack and ferries that can’t handle Sydney Harbour swells – it’s been one debacle after another.

“For workers and passengers on the public transport network, these problems represent serious safety concerns.

“The fact is that when you’re sourcing high-tech infrastructure like modern locomotives, train carriages and Light Rail Vehicles from Australian manufacturers, you know what you’re getting.

“Governments that source trains from overseas suppliers not only sacrifice local jobs, they potentially put lives at risk through lower safety standards.”

The Build Them Here Candidate’s Pledge:

I pledge that if I am elected, I will support building our public transport in NSW.

I will:

  • Commit to designing, building, and maintaining our trains, buses, ferries and trams in NSW – creating jobs for local workers
  • Support procurement policies that mandate the use of local content on government transport contracts, with preference given to local manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers
  • Make safety and reliability a priority in the procurement of new public transport, and consult with end users through every step of the process; and
  • Invest in the TAFE system to ensure we have a skilled manufacturing workforce

I will advocate within my party and use my vote in parliament to honour my commitment.

For more details go to the Build Them Here campaign website.