Manufacturing News

64 jobs lost as Cement Australia closes Kandos facility

Sixty four workers will lose their jobs as Cement Australia closes its Kandos, New South Wales, manufacturing facility due to the increased pressure from a looming carbon tax, a skills shortage and the high Australian dollar.

The cement manufacturer will become the latest in a string of firms closing factories for similar reasons across Australia during the past few months.

The facility will be closed in “an orderly fashion” over the next four months, according to Chris Leon, Cement Australia CEO and managing director.

The Kandos site’s 98 employees will reportedly be supported through the transition and will receive their full entitlements. 

Only 34 workers will be offered another role within the company.

“Despite almost $10 million invested in 2007 to improve the plant, attracting and retaining high quality, experienced professionals to Kandos also continues to be a challenge as the next wave of skills shortage looms,” said Leon.

“In addition, for trade exposed industries such as ours there are the additional pressures of the high Australian dollar. Current regulation and government imposts are also an increasing burden on manufacturing and the carbon tax will only exacerbate this.”

“Finally, the Kandos plant is also considerable distance from the market it serves and this unfortunately further undermines its competitiveness.”

Shadow Innovation Minister, Sophie Mirabella, claims the government could have done something to prevent the closure – and other closures like it. 

“The Coalition has repeatedly warned that this Government’s policies will push manufacturers over the edge only to be greeted by arrogant disregard by the Prime Minister,” she said.

“Many manufacturers operate on very thin margins because the regulatory and policy environment is so bad at the moment.”

The company’s manufacturing operations in Gladstone (Qld), Railton (Tas) and Bulwer Island (Qld) will reportedly keep running.

The textiles, clothing and footwear and paper manufacturing sectors have reported various closures in the past few months, due to a looming carbon tax, increased overseas competition, a high Australian dollar, and offshoring.

 

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