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Offline ozbob

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Article: Government spending keeps industry on track
« on: May 24, 2013, 03:50:32 AM »
From the Melbourne Age click here!

Government spending keeps industry on track

Government spending keeps industry on track
 May 24, 2013 Adam Carey

Manufacturing of trains, trams and buses in Victoria is in a healthy state right now, with about 750 people directly employed in manufacturing roles to deliver on major government contracts.

But the industry's future good health depends on the state government continuing to invest strongly in new rolling stock, with the state's two train and tram manufacturers, Alstom and Bombardier, set to compete in the next few years for crucial contracts.

Bombardier has about 350 staff in manufacturing roles at its Dandenong factory, working to deliver state government orders for 40 V/Line VLocity carriages and 50 low-floor trams. It is also building 22 three-car trains for Adelaide's rail network.

The contracts are expected to provide a steady flow of work until 2015.

Alstom employs about 100 manufacturing staff at its Ballarat factory. It has just delivered seven six-car X'Trapolis trains for Melbourne, 30 per cent of which was locally built. Last month it received a boost with a new order from the Napthine government for eight more trains. An Alstom spokesman said it had taken the company 15 months to produce the first train from the time the first order was made, with the seventh and final train delivered in the past week.

The state government has promised 32 more next-generation trains for Melbourne by 2018, with up to nine carriages each, and Alstom and Bombardier are expected to compete for the contract.

Australia's largest bus manufacturer, Volgren, is also Melbourne-based, with its largest factory in Dandenong and two smaller factories in Perth and Brisbane. Volgren manufactures 500 to 600 buses a year, and employs 250 to 300 people in manufacturing roles in Melbourne depending on demand, says Tony Kerr, general manager, sales and marketing.

But Mr Kerr says orders for urban route buses, its core business, have declined 25 per cent so far this year. ''It ebbs and flows enormously. Our industry is very dependent on government,'' he said.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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