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NSW government spending $3 billion on trains and ferries from China

Revealed: How your taxes paid for $3billion worth of trains and ferries from CHINA which used to be made in Australia only a decade ago

  • The McKell Institute calculated NSW had spent $3billion Chinese trains, ferries
  • Labor-aligned think tank arguing public transport should be made in Australia
  • Just a decade ago, Sydney’s trains were still being manufactured in Newcastle 

One state government is spending $3billion on trains and ferries from China. 

Instead of having public transport built locally, New South Wales is spending billions importing them from Asian Communist power.

Little more than a decade ago, the trains on Sydney’s rail network were still being made in Newcastle.

The Labor-aligned McKell Institute think tank calculated that Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s government had spent $2.6billion on 17 suburban trains from China, when the initial $900million cost covering construction and maintenance was added to operating expenses and railway rolling stock.

Downer EDI had outsourced the manufacturing to China, tasking CRRC Changchun with making the cars.

One state government is spending $3billion on trains and ferries from China. The Labor-aligned McKell Institute think tank calculated that Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s government had spent $2.6billion on 17 suburban trains from China, when the initial $900million cost was added to operating expenses and railway rolling stock

The McKell Institute also calculated that another $1.3billion was spent on 13 ferries from China and Indonesia only for asbestos to be found in the gaskets of brand-new vessels, costing $28million in lost time.

‘The New Sydney ferries were expected to be delivered and in use in 2020, and instead underwent asbestos and maintenance for over a whole year,’ it said. 

Felix Zerbib, an economic policy analyst at the McKell Institute, said there was little financial benefit in having trains and ferries built overseas.

‘The overall cost savings to the NSW government is marginal and may be eroded when factoring in other costs such as delays and design flaws,’ he said.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has previously argued building trains locally would cost taxpayers 25 per cent more. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Constance and Transport for NSW. 

It also calculated that another $1.3billion was spent on 13 ferries from China and Indonesia only for asbestos to be found in the gaskets of brand-new vessels

It also calculated that another $1.3billion was spent on 13 ferries from China and Indonesia only for asbestos to be found in the gaskets of brand-new vessels

In February 2019, the NSW Government announced it would fast-track the delivery of another 17 new air-conditioned Waratah series two trains, taking the total to 41.

Last year, Australian ship builder Birdon outsourced manufacturing operations of Sydney ferries to China and Indonesia.

Previous NSW Coalition governments commissioned trains to be built locally.

Liberal premier Robert Askin tasked A. Goninan & Co at Broadmeadow in Newcastle to make the S set trains from 1972, with 509 carriages built over the next eight years.

These silver double-decker carriages were still transporting Sydney commuters up until 2019.

In August last year, Gladys Berejiklian said: 'Australia and New South Wales are not good at building trains, that's why we have to purchase them'

In August last year, Gladys Berejiklian said: ‘Australia and New South Wales are not good at building trains, that’s why we have to purchase them’

Felix Zerbib, an economic policy analyst at the McKell Institute, said there was little financial benefit in having trains and ferries built overseas

Felix Zerbib, an economic policy analyst at the McKell Institute, said there was little financial benefit in having trains and ferries built overseas

Under Liberal premiers Nick Greiner and John Fahey, Goninan kept building the Tangara between 1988 to 1995.

UGL Rail – the renamed Goninan company – also made the modern H set trains in Broadmeadow between 2006 and 2012, mainly when Labor was in power.

In August last year, Ms Berejiklian said: ‘Australia and New South Wales are not good at building trains, that’s why we have to purchase them.’

Nonetheless, Mr Constance earlier this month announced Custom Denning at St Marys in western Sydney would later this year start manufacturing 60 electric buses for the public transport fleet as part of a plan to fully electrify the bus fleet by 2030.  

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