Around 70 jobs at Ballarat are reportedly at risk after Alstom was overlooked in the tendering for 25 new trains for Melbourne.
Fairfax reports that the two front-runners for the estimated $376 million worth of new work are the Chinese government-owned China North Rail and South Korea’s Rotem.
The Napthine government’s private tendering process has been criticised by the opposition and by transport commentators, such as University of Melbourne lecturer John Stone, who told the local Courier newspaper that the approach did not guarantee the best value for the taxpayer.
The contract for the new trains is due to be signed at the end of the month.
The only other train manufacturing company in Australia, Canada’s Bombardier, is participating in the consortium with China North Rail as a sub-contractor.
France’s Alstom operates in over 100 countries, and is currently building X’Trapolis trains at Ballarat. It has no work guaranteed after these are completed mid-next year.