The New South Wales (NSW) Government is supporting the creation of local manufacturing jobs in Western Sydney with a $70m investment to transition the state’s bus fleet to zero-emissions technology.

Western Sydney-based company Custom Denning has been awarded a contract to design, manufacture and assemble 79 new electric buses. Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott toured the St Mary’s factory on 14 February to inspect the production line and meet workers.

“This is a true Western Sydney success story and our government is proud to have played a part in this business producing the first locally-built electric bus,” Perrottet said. “Custom Denning employs 160 workers at their St Mary’s factory and this investment will now provide more jobs to ensure our buses are built to the highest standard.

“Our government is getting closer to securing a cleaner, healthier future for the people of NSW and at the same time this electric bus transition will generate hundreds of local manufacturing jobs, which is an amazing outcome for our state.”

Elliott added that the $70m investment takes the number of bus orders placed with Custom Denning past 100, which will help drive a post-pandemic jobs recovery and a boost for local manufacturing.

“The NSW Government’s commitment to transition the entire 8,000-plus bus fleet is supercharging jobs and manufacturing in Western Sydney,” Elliott said. “Bus customers are already experiencing the benefits of electric buses from Penrith to Bondi, and we will continue to back local manufacturing. I’m committed to exploring opportunities to secure more local manufacturing, component supply and workforce skills development to boost our economy.”

Once built, the 79 buses will operate services in Sydney’s inner west. Transport for NSW, in collaboration with its contracted bus operators, have ordered 101 electric buses from Custom Denning.