New Transport Minister David Elliott has flagged he prefers “Australian made” when it comes to infrastructure in NSW.
Mr Elliott this week inherited the troubled transport portfolio in the NSW cabinet reshuffle, an area that’s been plagued with issues over foreign manufactured trains, trams and ferries.
Sydney’s inner west light rail network has been temporarily shut-down because of cracks in the foreign built trams and won’t be back to full capacity until October 2022.
Cracks have also been discovered in one Sydney’s new foreign built Manly ferries, while Sydney train commuters have been subjected to a series of strikes, including one last week when drivers refused to drive foreign-built trains which comprise about 75 per cent of the fleet.
Mr Elliott says he’s already met with the rail unions over their concerns and many of them are legitimate.
“There’s no doubt about the fact that we’ve made some mistakes that we need to be addressed,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.
He wants to restore confidence in the state’s trains, trams, buses and ferries.
“We’re going to have a really, really red hot go at making sure that we bring it back to the world standard that we deserve,” he said.
He is in favour of manufacturing future transport infrastructure in Australia.
“That’s my intention,” he said.
“I don’t know of any bad Australian products,” he said.
When considering future contracts he would consider the multiplier effect on the economy and the ensuing jobs that would be created, he said.
“I also want to make sure that when something goes wrong … an Australian can make it right,” he said.
“We’ve been treated really badly by overseas manufacturers for some of our large investments,” he said.