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Productive meeting with Victorian rail advocate

Latrobe City Council recently met with the Victorian Rail Advocate Jill Walsh to hear first-hand about rail transport needs within the municipality and to promote manufacturing capacity in Latrobe City.

Latrobe City Council Mayor, Councillor Dan Clancey, said the meeting opened up a number of productive discussions that could potentially build connections with global operators.

“As well as listening to our community’s needs when it comes to rail transport locally, Ms Walsh, in her role as rail advocate, acts as the liaison between industry and government, to support local business. Given that there is a mandate that future State projects must have 60% local content, businesses in our region are well-placed to enter the supply chain, working for large companies (Primes) who tender for big infrastructure projects.

“We know how skilled our workers are here in Latrobe City. We have a significant concentration of specialist manufacturing and engineering businesses, we have highly-trained tradespeople working in a diverse range of areas. So the meeting was a chance to discuss raising the profile of local businesses with these Primes,” Cr Clancey said.

Latrobe City Council has experience in similar ventures, having promoted local manufacturing through its Defence industry briefings and advocating for projects like CRRC supplying into Downer. The city is a centre for engineering excellence and ensuring local companies have a comprehensive understanding of what is required to successfully bid for tenders or join the supply chain is a key element.

“Through our discussions with Ms Walsh, we are excited about the future for our local manufacturers. With the capacity to adapt services and products to fit the rail industry, there’s no reason why Latrobe City cannot capitalise on a number of multi-billion dollar projects for high-capacity trains, trams and V/Line Velocity,” Cr Clancey said.

Council will now prepare a briefing with Wellington and Baw Baw Shires to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

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