The managing director of collapsed Griffith company Colla Bros has said that times are very difficult in the local steel fabrication industry
Ben Trotter told the ABC that it had become a struggle to compete with shortened import times from China, and manufacturers were “dying a slow death”.
"We are facing a lot of competition from China, fabricated steel,” he told the ABC.
"We ourselves have been doing it, the last 12 months.”
Colla Bros began in 1951 as a blacksmith’s, and Trotter has been its managing director since 2004. He said there were several potential buyers for the company.
"I know for a fact, speaking to some of my colleagues in the industry, they themselves are facing huge pressures with costs and margins," he said.
Trotter’s comments come shortly after Rheem announced that it would close its four-decade-old Welshpool solar water heater factory in late 2015.
Among other factors, Rheem stated that the strong Australian dollar and cheap imports had made things very difficult.
Recently Walter Suber, vice president of the Manufacturing and Engineering Institute of Australia, told Manufacturers’ Monthly that for metal fabricators, “the biggest issue is there’s a lot of business going offshore.
“And the volumes that there used to be there pre-GFC are just not there.”