RPG Group, a major manufacturer of large steel structures, is doing away with 154 jobs.
The steelmaker, which operates four factories in South Australia and Queensland, went into voluntary administration last Friday. It has announced that it is closing sites at Dalby (shedding 76 jobs), Richlands (eight jobs) and Kilburn (69 jobs).
The decision by administrator Ferrier Hodgson to shut the Dalby factory surprised Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown.
"With the growth in the energy industry, we've got many, many projects moving at the moment – there are billions of dollars moving through the town," he told AAP.
Ferrier said it hopes that the remaining operations can be sold and the workers’ jobs maintained. A creditors meeting takes place on October 17.
David Ridgway, South Australian opposition planning spokesman, blamed the federal government’s promotion of renewable energy for job losses.
"RPG once made crane booms and mining equipment, but bolstered by subsidies, handouts and incentives the company got heavily involved in wind farm towers,” Ridgway told The Australian.
"This isn't about wind power. It's about more Labor lies in claiming a mining, food and agriculture, tourism and wind energy jobs boom. Labor is gripped by a cargo cult mentality."
RPG mainly deals in large steel structures used in heavy engineering projects, such as in mining and renewable energy.
Image from http://www.rpgcables.com