Australia: Urgent probe into reports of Uighur labour on Sydney's new trains
"Urgent probe into reports of Uighur labour on Sydney's new trains", 8 October 2020
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says he is horrified by reports linking the Chinese state-owned corporation manufacturing Sydney trains to Uighur labour and has tasked his government department to urgently investigate the matter.
The government investigation comes after the Herald and The Age revealed the company contracted to build new trains for Sydney and Melbourne had also been identified as a beneficiary of Uighur labour and was recently blacklisted by the United States.
China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) is manufacturing Sydney's new Waratah trains, 17 of which arrived this year, and Melbourne's high-capacity metro trains.
Mr Constance said a challenge of procuring assets from overseas was ensuring the transparency of supply chain practices.
Mr Constance refused to speculate on what actions would be taken with the contract if the government investigation found CRRC was benefiting from the labour of exploited minority workers in China.
A consortium of CRRC and ASX-listed company Downer has a multibillion-dollar government contract to build and maintain Sydney's Waratah trains, some of which arrived in the city this year.
A spokesman for Downer said the company had investigated the "serious allegations" earlier this year, and CRRC strongly denied the use of Uighur labour.