More local manufacturing being sent back to WA
The McGowan Labor government has hailed Rio Tinto’s commitment to using local suppliers to build iron ore wagons for its Pilbara mining operations.
Rio Tinto’s announcement includes an initial purchase commitment of 50 railcars of iron ore, followed by an ongoing commitment of 10 railcars of ore per year for at least the following five years.
The announcement reflects the state government’s commitment to boosting local manufacturing and securing an ongoing pipeline of jobs in Western Australia through the establishment of the Ore Car Manufacture and Maintenance Action Group of iron.
The action group, of which Rio Tinto is a member, has been tasked with developing a competitive iron ore railcar manufacturing industry in Western Australia.
An independent pre-feasibility study, which was commissioned by the McGowan government, identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore cars.
By supplying the iron ore industry with railcars and railcar components, the local steelmaking industry will support more jobs in Western Australia in the future.
The McGowan government is implementing its WA Jobs Plan and has created a $ 15 million local manufacturing investment fund to help existing businesses retool so they can build railcars and iron ore components , in accordance with an electoral commitment.
Former Minister of Emergency and Corrective Services Francis Logan has been appointed chairman of the Washington State government’s Railroad Car Manufacture and Maintenance Action Group.
Mr. Logan’s extensive and relevant experience brings to this role a strong commitment to working with industry to continue to create jobs for Western Australia.
The Action Group will continue the work of the pre-feasibility phase and guide the development of a comprehensive feasibility study on the viability of manufacturing and maintaining iron ore railcars and railcar components in Western Australia.
Keogh Bay People, a registered Indigenous business, has been rehired to deliver the full feasibility report which is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2022.
These initiatives build on the McGowan government’s electoral pledge to bring rail manufacturing back to the Midland area, which will result in the manufacture of 246 METRONET C-Series cars and six cars to replace existing Australind service.
This is the case with the new METRONET railcar installation in Bellevue, which was built with nearly 8,500 tonnes of WA steel and creates more than 200 long-term jobs.