Calls for more assistance for Tasmanian manufacturers

A Tasmanian company has called for more assistance for the struggling manufacturing industry.

The ABC reports that Ralph Norton managing director of Roadside Products, the biggest supplier of roadside posts in Australia said that his company has twice been knocked back when applying for a $150,000 grant to expand and create 10 new jobs.

"We have alternative properties in Queensland where we distribute from and we have an option to move our business to there, but we would prefer to stay here," Norton said.

"We're based here, we want to expand our business here but it's difficult."

Norton also claimed that local councils and State Government contractors are importing cheaper products from overseas.

The complaint comes in a bad week for Tasmanian manufacturing.  

It was a week in which Australian Weaving Mills decided to close its factory in Devonport and move its manufacturing operations to its plant in Wangaratta, Victoria. As a result, 50 workers will lose their jobs.

In addition, it was announced that Launceston-based car parts manufacturer ACL Bearings will be closed by receivers by next June and 136 workers will lose their jobs.

As the Examiner reports, the ACL Bearings closure will have implications for not just those employees but also for other businesses that subcontract to ACL.

According to Australian Manufacturing Workers Union state secretary John Short, the 136 redundant ACL workers need to be retrained in federal and state government programs so they can remain employed in Northern Tasmania and the region doesn't suffer further economic problems.

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