The Andrews Labor Government is creating up to 20 new jobs in Ballarat, as it delivers a more reliable and comfortable fleet of buses to run across Melbourne’s public transport network.
Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne today visited Ballarat automotive manufacturer OzPress Industries, which has partnered with South East Asia’s largest bus body builder Gemilang, to deliver 50 new buses for Victorian passengers.
Recruitment for the new Ballarat-based roles, including body builders, panel beaters, aftersales staff, auto electricians and painters is underway, with the first workers already onboard.
This contract signals a significant re-entry into the automotive industry for OzPress Industries, after it significantly downsized its business following Toyota’s withdrawal from car manufacturing in Australia in late 2017.
The Ballarat-built buses are part of a $16 million order by the Labor Government for 100 new buses that will progressively start running across Melbourne’s public transport network over the next two years.
The remaining 50 buses are being built at Volgren’s Dandenong factory, providing further Victorian employment opportunities connected to the upgrade of Melbourne’s bus fleet.
All 100 buses will be built in line with the Labor Government’s Local Jobs First policy, guaranteeing each vehicle is made with 60 per cent local content.
The first Ballarat-built buses will start rolling off the manufacturing line from July, before taking their first passengers in August. Most of the buses are expected to be running on routes operated by Transdev Melbourne by the end of 2019.
The new buses will be low floor and fully accessible for all passengers, such as those with disability mobility aids.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“We’re delivering the biggest order of new trains, trams and buses this state has ever seen, while ensuring they are built right here in Victoria.”
“We’re modernising, expanding and upgrading Melbourne’s bus fleet, so it delivers a more reliable and comfortable journey for the thousands of Victorian passengers who depend on it every day.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison
“We are pleased to not only be creating new jobs and training opportunities in Ballarat, but also bringing new industry to our regional areas.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle
“This partnership will see a local automotive manufacturer with more than 40 years of experience play an integral role in delivering Victoria’s newest bus fleet.”