September 2, 2014

Ballarat jobs at risk.

The institution, historically known as the Ballarat Railway workshops, is again at risk.

After employing more than 300 workers back in the former State owned Vic Rail days the
former Kennett government privatised our rail services and Ballarat’s Rail workshops. This led to a very uncertain time for its workforce.

Fortunately, under the Bracks and Brumby governments, significant investment was made in rail transport and the privatised Alstom gained contracts to construct the new X’Trapolis trains now in service in the Melbourne rail system.

This work ensured the survival of Alstom in Ballarat and saw the employment of up to 100
workers along with many other Victorian workers who produced components for the trains.

Sadly under this government the future of Alstom’s Ballarat workforce is at risk.

While Alstom, Ballarat has been able to demonstrate that it can complete the X’Trapolis
contracts to a high standard and on time or ahead of time, this government, while acknowledging that another 25 new trains are required, have appointed a so called ‘independent’ assessment team to handle the contract process and it is understood that Alstom has not been shortlisted in favour of Chinese and Korean companies.

This is not good enough for our Ballarat workers and we need this government not to bury
their heads in the sand as their ‘independent’ contract process proceeds but to demonstrate their support for local Victorian and Ballarat workers by requiring local construction of our trains and to ensure Alstom in not dealt out of the tender process in favour of companies which have not been able to demonstrate their support for local construction and local jobs.

We clearly need a government with a real jobs plan for Victoria, a government that will stand up for Victorian jobs, including Ballarat jobs.

Tags: ,