Monthly Archives: April 2006

Watkins visits Custom Coaches’ new facility

Acting Premier and Minister for Transport John Watkins today toured the new production line at Custom Coaches Western Sydney facility where all of State Transit’s 505 new buses will be built.

Mr Watkins congratulated the Smithfield company on the new facility.

“Custom Coaches won the Iemma Government’s contract for 505-new buses – the biggest ever investment in new buses in NSW history,” Mr Watkins said

“The contract is the biggest investment by any one operator in Australian history, and underpins Custom’s push to develop a more globally competitive bus production facility here in Western Sydney,” he said.

“The security of a long term contract such as this, as well as the security provided to the industry, including bus builders, through the Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts, has allowed Custom Coaches to invest in the future and build their new production facility.

“The contract for the new buses will help secure the long term prospects for Custom’s employees and suppliers – and generate new jobs for Western Sydney school leavers.”

Mr Watkins said the company advised him that some of the benefits of this contract were:

  • Increased apprenticeship opportunities of 10 per year, which means 50 new skilled tradesmen during the contract period;
  • Security of employment for all 185 staff at the company’s Smithfield site; • More than 200 jobs for local sub-suppliers worth more than $70 million;
  • Further increases in capital investment in the Smithfield plant and equipment, on top of the $1 million already committed;
  • Custom Coaches investing in training for approximately 25 people a week and using TAFE courses to enhance skills and qualifications; and
  • Allowing Custom Coaches to increase their commitment to a range of local community service activities including schools, sports teams and charities.

Mr Watkins again congratulated Custom Coaches on winning the contract that will deliver 255 natural gas powered buses and 250 diesel buses for Sydney and Newcastle commuters.