A bus-building facility that has created more than 250 jobs in the Newcastle area officially opened today.

Volgren Australia, the country’s leading bus builder, unveiled its body-building factory at the Hunter Industrial Estate at Tomago, one year after construction began on the state-of-the-art facility.

‘Despite tough economic times, we are a proud Australian company that continues to invest and create jobs locally,’ said Volgren’s Managing Director Peter Dale.

‘This facility is now fully operational, producing buses made in New South Wales for the people of New South Wales.’

‘To do this in less than a year has been a remarkable achievement by all involved, especially the builders and our staff, who have worked so hard to get us here today.’

Many of the Volgren buses have been built for both private enterprise and the NSW Government, which has significantly expanded public transport services in the state.

The $18 million facility is producing 56-seater articulated buses (bendy-buses, which can taken 84 passengers including those standing) for the NSW Government. The buses are built on a Volvo chassis.

‘There is a growing demand for effective public transport, and buses are one of the best solutions for any shortage,’ Mr Dale said. ‘New bus routes can be quickly introduced and, if buses come often enough, experience shows that passengers are prepared to get on board.’

The Newcastle facility is Volgren’s fourth in Australia, complementing bus body-building plants in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

‘Last year we delivered 537 buses across the country, making us the biggest bus body-building company in Australia,’ Mr Dale said.

‘But more important than simply being the market leader – and what makes us proud – is the fact we produce the most innovative and the safest buses in the country.’

Volgren buses are built using a unique aluminium system, which makes the buses stronger, lighter and more energy efficient than traditional steel buses. Volgren is a family owned company.

More information: Peter Dale, 03 9791 4255