Labor promises to make electric buses in Perth, if it wins the federal election

Anthony Albanese has pledged $125 million to manufacture 130 electric buses in Perth if Labor wins the federal election. 

The McGowan government will match the $125 million commitment, with the aim of creating 100 new local jobs and transitioning 300 existing jobs to clean energy. 

The plan is to deliver a local facility to build the buses.

“A core part of my pitch to the Australian people is making more things here,” Mr Albanese said. 

“One of the lessons of the pandemic is we have to stand on our own two feet — we’re vulnerable if we’re at the end of supply chains.”

A close up shot of Anthony Albanese with Rita Saffioti behind him
Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has made his first trip to Perth in the election campaign after a week of COVID-19 isolation. (ABC News: Abby Richards)

Mr Albanese made the commitment in Perth on Saturday morning, ahead of Labor’s campaign launch on Sunday.

It is his first visit to WA in the election campaign and follows a week of COVID-19 isolation. 

Clean buses ‘the future’

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti is confident WA has the workforce needed to deliver the project. 

“We have some (workers) involved in diesel bus manufacturing at the moment, so it would be about upskilling and new jobs,” she said. 

“We’re very confident about the workforce.

“We see this as an incredible opportunity and we know that the public is very keen for cleaner forms of transport.”

Mid-shot of Rita Saffioti looking at the camera with a red bus behind her
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says the first bus would be built by 2024/25. (ABC News: Abby Richards)

The roll-out would require bus depots to be upgraded and new infrastructure such as charging stations to be installed. 

“We expect the infrastructure upgrades to be delivered within the next two to three years, the facility built and the buses being manufactured through 2024/25,” Ms Saffioti said. 

“Clean buses is very much the future.”

Ms Saffioti said the plan has been costed by the state government and includes $80 million for the buses, $50 million for the facility and $120 million for the depot upgrades and required infrastructure.

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