MP calls for government action as job losses hit Illawara

Throsby MP Stephen Jones has called on the federal government to commit to infrastructure projects in the Illawarra as three of the regions employers lay off workers.

Jobs will be lost at metals manufacturer MM Kembla, Boral’s Berrima Colliery, and the Illawarra Coke Company.

Commenting on the situation, Jones told the ABC, “The high Australian dollar is making them less competitive. We need the infrastructure and we need assistance in the region to help us transform our economy.”

"I renew my calls on the federal government to go ahead with the investment in the home of soccer, to go ahead with the investment in the Maldon Dombarton and the upgrade of Mount Ousley Rd.

“These are critical infrastructure projects that will help stimulate the economy and the region."

Almost 40 jobs will be cut as production is halted at Boral’s Berrima Colliery. The company announced the colliery will be put into care and maintenance mode, suspending all coal mining activities.

The announcement comes after plans to double output at the Southern Highland’s coal mine were on Wednesday rejected by the Land and Environment Court.

Meanwhile, as the Illawarra Mercury reports, Copper manufacturer MM Kembla has announced that 70 employees will be made redundant.

According to Chief executive officer Colin Wetherstone, the company is scaling back operations and closing the wire and rod division of its business because of competition from overseas.

And, as reported in the Illawarra Mercury, the Illawarra Coke Company will soon close the doors at its last remaining cokeworks at Corrimal. The news comes after over 100 years of operation in the region.