Appointments to help deliver on the National Rail Manufacturing Plan

The Albanese Government has appointed Ms Jacqui Walters as the new National Rail Manufacturing Advocate and Chair of the new Rail Industry Innovation Council to help grow a sustainable rail manufacturing industry in Australia. 

Eight leading experts have also been appointed to the Rail Industry Innovation Council. 

The appointments are critical to the success of the Government’s National Rail Manufacturing Plan which will help ensure more high quality, low emissions passenger trains are manufactured in Australia.

Growing rail manufacturing in Australia will help deliver a stronger and more secure economy, creating more opportunities for Australians, particularly in regional communities.

Ms Walters has worked across Commonwealth, state and territory governments, including as former Chair of the Citytrain Response Unit, where she oversaw the transformation of public transport in Queensland.

Her experience in the transport sector is complemented by her background in renewable energy and venture capital funding.

The National Rail Manufacturing Advocate will help improve coordination of state and territory procurement of rail rolling stock to build a more sustainable and competitive rail manufacturing industry. 

Bringing significant expertise from the rail industry, the eight other Council members are:

  • Mr Graham Bentley; 
  • Mr Danny Broad; 
  • Ms Vicki Brown; 
  • Ms Samantha McWilliam;
  • The Hon Rachel Nolan; 
  • Professor Ravi Ravitharan; 
  • Ms Katarzyna Stapleton; and
  • Mr Glenn Thompson.

As part of the plan, the Government expects to deliver the National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy by the end of the year. 

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Manufacturing, Tim Ayres:

“Australians can build the trains of the future for Australia and the world. 

“When state governments procure passenger rail projects offshore, like the former NSW Liberal Government did under the former Transport Minister Andrew Constance, it costs thousands of good jobs in the regions and undermined Australia’s manufacturing capability. 

“The Albanese Government is determined to support Australia’s capability and create good manufacturing jobs in our regions and outer suburbs.

“I look forward to working with Jacqui Walters and Council members to implement the Government’s vision of supporting more skilled manufacturing jobs and ensuring more of our rail passenger fleets are built in Australia.

“As Advocate, she will work with state and territory governments and stakeholders to pursue an improved national approach that provides increased opportunities for local businesses and creates more local jobs, particularly in regional Australia.”

Quotes attributable to National Rail Manufacturing Advocate, Jacqui Walters: 
“I am honoured to be appointed the National Rail Manufacturing Advocate to assist in the implementation of the Government’s National Rail Manufacturing Plan.

“I will work closely with the Rail Industry Innovation Council and Assistant Minister Ayres to increase opportunities for local businesses and create more local, good quality jobs. 

“I strongly believe there is a future for Australia to become a high-value manufacturing nation.”

“Working together we have the opportunity to improve competitiveness, innovation, and growth within the rail manufacturing industry.”

Fast Facts:

  • More than 50,000 people are employed in the rail sector.
  • Rail passenger travel generates 30 per cent less carbon emissions than road travel.
  • Rail is three times more fuel efficient and produces three times less carbon than road transport.