A company due to build a $700million electric vehicle manufacturing plant in NSW’s southern highlands has blamed failed talks with the state government for its decision to give up the plans.
- Nexport has abandoned plans to build an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in the NSW Southern Highlands
- The $700 million development was proposed to help transition the state’s bus fleet to zero-emissions technology
- The company says it has failed to gain project certainty from the state government
In 2020, Nexport announced that it would build the factory on 51 hectares of land in Moss Vale to electrify the state’s fleet of 8,000 buses.
But this week, two blocks of industrial zoning on Douglas and Berrima Roads, slated for development, went up for sale.
In a statement, the company said it had been unable to obtain any certainty from the state government regarding the project and would instead move operations to a smaller facility in Bankstown.
“We were very committed to the development of the Moss Vale land and the opportunities it provided for our business and the wider community,” a Nexport spokesperson said.
“As such, we have chosen to secure a smaller off-the-shelf facility in Bankstown and are looking to diversify our manufacturing portfolio across Australia…to ensure job security for our employees.”
“It was a game-changer”
Suspended Wingecarribee Councilor Ian Scandrett said the company’s decision was a blow to the local economy as it was expected to create more than 2,000 jobs.
“It was going to be fantastic…it was going to have a focus on young people, there was also a commitment to Aboriginal employment,” Mr Scandrett said.
“It would have brought benefits not only for us but for the state.”
Mr Scandrett has vowed to fight the company’s decision.
“It’s such an important thing for the Southern Highlands and for young people, and for our general economic development.”
On Monday, the New South Wales government announced it had awarded a contract for the design, manufacture and assembly of 79 new electric buses to Western Sydney-based company Custom Denning.
The company employs 160 people at its factory in St Marys.
At the time, Premier Dominic Perrottet said the $70 million investment would help transition the state’s bus fleet to zero-emissions technology.
Transport Minister David Elliott said the contract would also help the state’s “post-pandemic job recovery”.