The first batch of new buses for Perth’s commuters moved a major step forward today with the opening of Volgren Australia's bus assembly plant at Malaga.
Transport Minister Murray Criddle said the $3 million facility would combine with Volgren’s Dandenong plant in Victoria to bring 133 new buses on stream over the next 12 months.
After that, the Malaga plant would take over the entire production with 65 world-class buses a year being rolled out.
The Minister said the opening of the new facility at Malaga signalled the start of the Government’s $300 million Bus Acquisition Program which would see the State’s entire fleet of 848 buses replaced by 2010.
“This facility will not only provide us with world-class buses it will also give full-time employment to 50 Western Australians and bolster the State’s economy by using local goods and services," he said.
The WA component of the bus construction contract is valued at $150 million.
The buses will feature full air-conditioning and heating, a low floor with a front kneeling mechanism for easy access and a comprehensive video surveillance system.
Mr Criddle said Daimler Chrysler would provide the bus chassis. Volgren's Malaga plant would manufacture and assemble the bus body, fit the body to the chassis, and fit seating, air-conditioning and video surveillance systems.
The final stage of production was the painting of the bus using a new state-of-the-art paint baking unit.
“The local content in the buses to be assembled at Malaga will commence at around 45 per cent, increasing to 50 per cent,” the Minister said.
Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333