UNIONS have backed a City of Newcastle bid to draw an electric bus manufacturer to set up shop in the Hunter.
Newcastle councillors on Tuesday night resolved to write to BusTech in a bid to convince the company to make Newcastle its new base.
THE NSW government aims to convert its 8000-bus fleet to electric vehicles by 2030. BusTech is one of five certified suppliers.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes described the city as "a perfect fit" for building 120 new buses for the state government in 2021 and converting the existing fleet.
In December the company's chief executive Thinus Steyn announced the company had plans to enter NSW.
"We're looking at building an additional facility in Queensland, two potential facilities in NSW and then another in Victoria," Thinus said.
"Hopefully all the planning we've done and the engagement we've been busy with will allow us to bear fruit by the end of this year."
The Hunter Jobs Alliance says the bid could help secure manufacturing jobs in the Hunter after the company was admitted to the state government's procurement panel.
"We know the Hunter has the skills to manufacture electric buses. We know BusTech, as an Australian manufacturer, are looking for a site to supply vehicles to meet the NSW Government's move to electric buses by 2030. This is a great opportunity for the region to put its hand up and say 'this can be done here,'" Hunter Jobs Alliance spokesperson Warrick Jordan said.
BusTech presently operates in South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union NSW State Secretary Cory Wright said the region faced "significant challenges" that the manufacturer's arrival could help solve.
"Newcastle and the Hunter region are facing significant challenges. We should grab any opportunity to diversify the region's economy and create good secure jobs for workers and their families. We know that regional manufacturing contracts of this nature provide opportunities for workers to build a life and stable career in their local areas," Mr Wright said.