New BERL report backs up case for locally built trains
Attn: Political and Transport reporters
Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union
Monday May 3, 2010
A new report out today by economics consultancy BERL proves there is a strong economic case to build the trains needed for Auckland rail electrification at home, and the union for rail workers is today launching a campaign to encourage government to make sure this happens.
KiwiRail has $500 million to purchase 38 three-car electric multiple units and 13 locomotives for the Auckland rail network.
Economics consultancy BERL has estimated that building these trains in New Zealand would add between 770 to 1270 additional jobs, $232 to $250 million to GDP and an increase in crown revenue by a net $65 million to $70 million.
“The expertise and equipment needed to build these new trains exists in New Zealand rail workshops. NZ rail workers are skilled, experienced, and want to do this work,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson said.
“Now we know the economic case backs us up. From both a job creation point of view, and in wider benefits to the New Zealand economy, there is a strong case to build these trains at the Lower Hutt and Dunedin rail workshops.”
“Everyone’s agreed on the need to create and retain jobs for NZ workers. Now here’s a very direct way we can. Our campaign is calling on the government to back Kiwi workers, and make sure our trains are built at home,” Wayne Butson said.
A petition is being launched today at an event in Wellington and public meetings will be held in Lower Hutt and South Dunedin in coming weeks, Wayne Butson said.
BERL Report - Economic benefits of building rolling stock in New_Zealand (409 kb)
EVENT TODAY: The RMTU is launching the “NZ work for NZ workers” campaign at 12 noon today, at a media conference in their offices at Level 1, Tramways Building, 1 Thorndon Quay, Wellington. Fitters from Woburn (Lower Hutt) and Hillside (Dunedin) workshops will be present, along with officials from the RMTU, Council of Trade Unions, Hutt City Cr Ray Wallace and Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive David Kiddey.
For further information: RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson on (04) 473-6693 or (027) 496-2461 or Sam Huggard, media support, (021) 462-148
Background: details of the funding for this project were announced on November 24: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt+announces+500m+auckland039s+electric+trains