SEMMA’s open letter Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian & NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance

 

Dear Gladys and Andrew,

 

Our manufacturing members were very concerned to learn that NSW had purchased nearly a billion dollars of Chinese-made trains, presumably believing that there was no train building capability in NSW. While there may well be no train manufacturing in NSW there is a significant manufacturing cluster in Victoria that could meet your needs. Moreover, these local manufacturers also have supply chains that reach well into NSW and employee your constituents.

 

Perhaps it was a little interstate rivalry which drove you to only look locally because we can assure you that Victoria has a very healthy and highly capable rolling stock industry. We have decades of experience, extraordinary capability and established supply chains producing not only trains but trams.

 

It is tragic and distressing that Members of Parliament, despite the recent lessons regarding the need to promote Australian Manufacturing and our local supply chains, make statements denigrating Australian Manufacturing capability, and by association, the almost 1 million people who work in this exciting sector.

 

We would also caution your procurement people against looking just at comparative price – it is short sighted in the extreme to compare local versus imported product on price alone with an arbitrary % benchmark; the total cost/benefit equation needs to be considered including the impact upon, and creation of, jobs and engineering careers: not to mention the increased NSW state tax income that would well and truly justify the higher ‘unit price’.

 

Despite our Stage 4 lock-down in Victoria, our essential manufacturing continues to operate with COVID safe plans in place, so we would be happy to discuss how we can assist you with future orders for rolling stock … or anything else you need produced because we have the capability and the capacity and stand ready to take your order. Please feel free to call.

 

Yours sincerely,

Vonda Fenwick,

Chief Executive Officer,

 

South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance

124-130 Bangholme Road, Dandenong South  VIC  3175

General: 0481 417 415  | vonda@semma.com.au

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