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Forgacs to close Brisbane ship maintenance operations

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Engineering firm Forgacs will close its ship maintenance dock in Brisbane and 27 permanent staff at the operation will lose their jobs.

The ABC reports that Forgacs bought the facility at Cairncross Graving Dock in 1999. It is used for the maintenance of commercial and naval ships.

According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, while the dock has 27 permanent staff, over 200 workers are employed there when a ship is in dock.

Forgacs chief executive Lindsay Stratton blamed the closure on the high Australian dollar and the high costs of doing business in Australia.

Last week Forgacs confirmed plans to cut about 100 jobs from its Tomago and Carrington shipyards in the Hunter.

As the Newcastle Herald reports, the redundancies will include those employed in trades, manufacturing and administrative roles.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Benn Billingsley told the Newcastle Herald that the government was partly to blame for the job losses.

‘‘… if state and federal governments don’t support manufacturing in the forms of ships and trains then you can hardly expect those companies that service manufacturing to hang on,’’ he said.

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