The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has welcomed the State Government’s planned release of its $1.6bn Metronet tender as a boost for WA jobs.
The proposed rail line, which will include completing the Forrestfield Airport Link and extending a rail line to Clarkson, was a key plank of the McGowan Government’s election platform in 2017 and promises to create more manufacturing jobs.
The network will provide one of the biggest order of railcars in WA’s history, with the expected delivery of 246 cars over the next 10 years. Of those, at least half are expected to be manufactured in WA.
Premier Mark McGowan said the much-lauded Metronet would provide a welcome boost for local manufacturing.
“Not only will Metronet deliver thousands of new constructions jobs, but the increased demand for new railcars will create a pipeline of work to boost our local manufacturing industry and maximise WA jobs,” the Premier said.
CCIWA Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell said that with the chamber playing a key role in connecting small, medium and large businesses to major projects, local content outcomes would be assured as effective and efficient for all WA businesses across the supply chain.
“Ensuring WA businesses have access to government procurement opportunities is critical to helping businesses grow and create jobs, and for WA to retain our skilled workforce,” Mr Rodwell said.
“This $1.6 billion tender will be a welcome boost to the state’s economy, creating jobs right here in WA, particularly in manufacturing.
“While it is important that WA businesses can gain access to supply chain opportunities, it is equally critical this is achieved without onerous regulations being imposed on major project contractors.
“CCI looks forward to continuing to work with the Government to support business investment and job creation.”
The State Government says that funding for a local railcar assembly facility and associated infrastructure will be included within the project’s $508m 2017-2018 budget allocation.
The delivery of 102 new railcars (17 six-car sets) will be delivered in the first stage of the project with a follow-on order for 144 railcars (24 six-car sets) to be included in the tender. The cars will replace the network’s ageing A-series railcars, which were the first electric railcars on the network.
It is anticipated that the trains will travel up to 280,000km a year for 35 years.
Delivery of the first 17 new trains, known as the C-series, is due to begin in 2021. The additional 24 trains are expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2026.
Meanwhile, the first trains from the final order of 10 to be delivered for the Forrestfield-Airport Link project have arrived. These were completed mostly in Queensland or overseas.
Companies which apply to build the next generation of Metronet trains will be short-listed to progress to an interactive tendering process before a final supplier is chosen early next year. The successful bidder will also be expected to guarantee 50 per cent railcar production in WA and to maintain the railcars for 30 years.
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