Revelations in today’s newspapers that the Chinese company, which was awarded a $2.3 billion contract to build Melbourne’s new trains by the Andrews Labor Government, has been blacklisted by the US government over security and human rights concerns is salt in the wounds of Victorian train builders badly in need of work.
According to today’s Age, Changchun Railway Vehicles, which won the contract to build 65 new high-capacity trains for Melbourne, is a subsidiary of a state-owned Chinese company and has been identified as benefitting from forced labour.
This news will come as another blow for struggling Victorian train building firms like Alstom, based in Ballarat, according to Member for Ripon Louise Staley.
“The story in today’s Age just shows the lengths Daniel Andrews and his Transport Infrastructure Minister, Jacinta Allan, will go to keep the Chinese Communist Party happy, even if it means selling train builders in Victoria down the river,” Ms Staley said.
A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute listed Changchun Railway Vehicles’ parent company as benefitting from the use of forced labour from Uighur workers.
Ms Staley said that Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan needed to come clean about the awarding of this contract to Changchun Railway Vehicles.
“Jacinta Allan, who claims to represent regional Victorians, now must tell us why she supported these trains being built in China instead of locally with a company such as Alstom located in Ballarat.”