On 16 March 2016, the Senate moved that the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 25 August 2016.
State of Australia’s rail industry and how government procurement, including through the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and other policy levers can improve the value for money, competitiveness, stability of work and capability of the rail manufacturing industry with specific reference to:
- the importance of the national rail industry as a regional employer and activity generator, and the potential costs of further decline of rail manufacturing on the national and relevant regional economies;
- the state of the rail industry, barriers to growth and improved productivity, and the potential of Australia’s rail industry as a skills and technology incubator, supplier of domestic rail needs as well as potential exports;
- the potential for Australia to benefit from a nationally-coordinated approach to rail manufacturing standards and rail procurement projects given the size of the Australian rail industry; and
- any other related matters.
On 9 May 2016, the inquiry lapsed with the dissolution of the Senate and House of Representatives for a general election on 2 July 2016.
On 15 September 2016 the Senate agreed to re-refer the inquiry with a reporting date of 18 October 2017.
Submissions should be received by 24 February 2017.