Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rail supplier advocate to boost sector

THE head of car component manufacturer Futuris Automotive will champion small and medium businesses in Australia's $3 billion rail industry.

Executive chairman Bruce Griffiths is the first supplier advocate to be appointed by federal Industry Minister Kim Carr as part of the Government's $8.2 million Supplier Advocate program.

The program is designed to boost the success of local industry suppliers.
"Central to Mr Griffith's role will be helping small and medium-sized businesses market their products to government buyers and champion sectoral initiatives to improve competitiveness,'' Mr Carr said.

While other advocates are to be appointed to the steel and textiles industries, today's rail announcement is timed to coincide with the opening of this week's AusRail conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The conference is expected to attract more than 4500 delegates from Australia and overseas to cover policy, investment and technical aspects of the industry.
Australasian Railway Association chief executive Brian Nye said Adelaide had been chosen to host the event because of its growing mining infrastructure and planned $2.2 billion passenger rail investment.

"South Australia is a booming centre where `east meets west' in Australia, one of the world's best train journeys starts here, and the new mines coming on line will trigger an unprecedented demand in rail freight movements," Mr Nye said.

"Like all states and territories in Australia, rail is undergoing a massive investment program preparing our passenger and freight networks for
the future."

The event will directly focus on the economic slowdown, exploring the need to increase productivity and efficiency under the theme of ``Doing More with Less''.
State and federal ministers will address the conference, and nine chief executives, including TransAdelaide's Bob Stobbe, will headline Thursday's keynote forum on the future of the industry.

The Advertiser.
Nov 17 2009


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