Could Bunbury become home to WA's rail manufacturing industry?

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union are pushing for WA Premier Mark McGowan to use his Metronet public transport initiative to create jobs in Bunbury and the South West. 

An open letter to the Premier from AMWU state secretary Steve McCartney was printed in a Bunbury newspaper this week, telling Mr McGowan the AMWU thinks Bunbury would be the best place to build the new Metronet trains. 

“Rail has been in the DNA of South West communities for generations and local workers have the skills needed to build trains,” Mr McCartney said. 

“Bunbury is an ideal location with plenty of unused state-owned industrial land near quality port and rail infrastructure.

“We need new opportunities for young people to be trained in the industries of the future, and for long term jobs to keep families and communities strong.”

Mr McCartney said to attract this new industry to Bunbury, the AMWU believes the state government should underwrite the development of common user infrastructure and make appropriate land available to the private sector for the development of a rail manufacturing hub. 

“If we get this right, Bunbury could compete for rail manufacturing contracts for iron ore rail operations in the Pilbara, in addition to other public and private sector rolling stock builds around Australia,” he said. 

Member for Bunbury Don Punch said he was pleased the AMWU had recognised the capabilities of the Bunbury workforce to meet manufacturing and fabrication opportunities. 

“I encourage local industry to look for opportunities for local supply within the Metronet contract and every other government contract,” he said. 

“We do need manufacturing jobs in the Bunbury area and I will do everything I can to present the capability of Bunbury fabricators and suppliers regardless of whether it is Metronet rolling stock, private sector freight rolling stock or other manufacturing opportunities.

“I have written to all ministers to raise awareness of Bunbury capability through the South West Procure Exhibition that will be held in Bunbury in November.” 

Procure South West will be held at the automotive training facilities at South Regional TAFE in Bunbury on November 24 and 25. 

For more information, visit procuresouthwest.com.au