A boost for rail manufacturing

Wed 22 Jul

The Rail Manufacturing CRC launched today is expected to help Australia’s rail manufacturers expand into overseas markets and global supply chains.

Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews, launched the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in Dandenong, Victoria.

“The launch of this CRC comes at an important time in Australia’s rail history as the prospects for rail and competitive rail manufacturing in this country are enormous,” Ms Andrews said.

“Domestic freight rail has doubled over the past 20 years and is expected to grow by three per cent each year until 2030. Likewise, passenger rail is starting to return as a favoured mode of transport and cities like Canberra, Gold Coast and Sydney are all investing money in new light rail systems.”

The Australian Government has committed $31 million to the new CRC and participants will contribute around $53 million in cash and in-kind contributions.

“The Rail Manufacturing CRC is an important development for Australia’s rail industry, which through its fragmented development, had not previously collaborated effectively on manufacturing or technology development,” Ms Andrews said.

“The new CRC will create stability within the sector while also enabling Australia’s rail manufacturing firms to expand into overseas markets and global supply chains.”

The CRC programme is an important aspect of the government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which was launched last October.

The Rail Manufacturing CRC is expected to work closely with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre being established under the Agenda and the CRC is also expected to boost Australia’s highly skilled workforce by turning out at least eight PhD students.

“The new CRC will help to create jobs, reduce supply chain costs and will also play an important part in making Australian exports more competitive,” Ms Andrews said.

“The future for rail and rail manufacturing in Australia is exceptional and I look forward to seeing the great work this new CRC will produce.”