Specialist tool manufacturer Mapal Australia will cease production at its Ballarat factory in November and, as a result, seven employees will lose their jobs.
The Ballarat Courier reports that the redundancies will come into effect on November 29. The company’s retail business and head office in Ballarat will not be affected by the factory closure.
Mapal general manger Laurie Treadwell said, “It is important to say Mapal is staying in Ballarat. It is still head office for Mapal Australia and we’re consolidating our sales business in Ballarat.”
Treadwell said that Mapal had tried everything possible to try to keep the facility open, but was unable to avoid the inevitable. He said that the plant had been losing money for seven years and was not viable.
He put the decision down to the contraction of the domestic car industry, the high cost of manufacturing in this country and the high Australian dollar.
Treadwell told the ABC, "The high Australian dollar has contributed to the loss of our export business, the downturn in automotive component manufacturing in Australia, the continued negativity of any news on the manufacturing sector.
"Every time there's negative news regarding any of the car companies, it just puts more pressure on the businesses."
Treadwell contrasted the government support received by the automotive industry in Australia with the support given to the sector in Germany and Japan. He said that more support would help the local industry.
"It's just part of the parcel, you've got to be committed to it and see the true value of supporting the automotive infrastructure."
He added that the removal of tariffs has made life difficult for Australian manufacturers.