THE RAIL Industry Innovation Council (RIIC) is sharpening the WA government’s focus on rail freight wagon manufacturing.  

The RIIC, meeting in Perth, will provide an update on the Australian government’s National Rail Procurement and manufacturing strategy and its implementation. 

It would enable RIIC members to interact with Western Australian rail industry stakeholders for the first time.

The assistant minister for manufacturing and trade Tim Ayres will be the keynote speaker at a networking event following the RIIC.

Western Australia is playing a key role in the development and implementation of the rail strategy and features prominently in one of the six pillars regarding heavy haulage and programs to promote growth in this sector.

The state government is supporting local rail wagon manufacturing and servicing through the $15 million Local Manufacturing Investment Fund (LMIF). 

While in Perth the RIIC members will visit the METRONET Bellevue Railcar manufacturing and maintenance facility, the Rio Tinto Rail Operations Centre, and Gemco Rail, which received LMIF funding to upgrade its Forrestfield facility and establish a new facility in Karratha.

Mr Dawson said the visit was an endorsement of how important Western Australia was to the National Rail Procurement and manufacturing strategy.

“Our state plays a key role in the development of the initiative with a focus on increasing opportunities for freight and heavy haul manufacturing,” Mr Dawson said.

“Our government is committed to supporting the local rail industry and we’re investing millions of dollars through the Local Manufacturing Investment Fund to make this happen.”