TasRail’s decision of choosing China Northern Rail over local companies for a million dollar contract has received severe criticism from the unions.
Under the contract, China Northern Rail will supply more than 190 new container, coal, cement and ore wagons, the ABC news reports.
According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union’s (AMWU) Tasmanian secretary John Short "it's just disgraceful that they weren't given the job, because that could've created 100 jobs.”
He went on to say that “for every direct job with a project like that, you might find two or three indirect jobs so that would've pumped millions and millions of dollars into the local economy."
TasRail’s chief Damien White told ABC news that a local tender selected was unable to supply the required quantity of rolling stock needed within budget.
White on ABC local radio said "if we were to take a different choice in terms of our wagon investment, it would simply mean we would not be able to buy the number of wagons that we need to buy.”
He went on to say that “at the end of the day that would mean an additional on-going subsidy requirement from the government.”
TasRail has stated that the contract is valued below $ 20 million.