Buyers nail down bargains at auction
BUYERS bagged a bargain as every one of about 200 items up for auction at Boral Hancock Plywood's shutdown timber mill was sold yesterday.
The three-hour auction conducted by Ritchie Bros Auctioneers at Lamington Parade, North Ipswich, attracted 80 bidders on the internet alone, apart from the dozens of people who turned up in person.
Machinery with an asking price of $50,000 was sold for $9000 in the strictly no-reserve auction.
Ritchie Bros vice president Warwick Mackrell said, overall, his company was very happy with the auction which raised close to $500,000.
"There was gear sold to New Guinea, America, New Zealand and Fiji, and a lot of local buyers," Mr Mackrell said.
"It was a good mix. It's been a good response. Buyers have got a lot of removal and assembly costs.
"Some of these lots, it'll take 10 men and cranes to move them. The site will be emptied within 30 days."
For The Lynch Mob Crane Hire director Bernie Lynch, yesterday's auction was good for business.
"We've got some gear that's going to New Guinea," he said.
"I've got a couple of Brisbane clients who bought dust hoppers and conveyors.
"The plywood assembly equipment, there's probably a month's work to get that apart."
Mr Lynch said getting all of the equipment out of the Boral factory in 30 days was "a pipedream".
"There's too much there," he said.
Mr Lynch estimated that more than 50% of the equipment was bought by scrap dealers who would cut it up onsite.
The auction comes in the wake of the mill's closure in July which put 164 employees out of work.
It was another blow for manufacturing in Ipswich, with 380 jobs lost from the sector in the 12 months before Boral closed its doors. Hancocks Mill started manufacturing plywood in 1935, and Boral took over the company 60 years later.
Once the equipment is removed, many of the buildings are expected to be bulldozed.
Ipswich councillor Heather Morrow confirmed that relevant building approvals were in place to allow for the demolition of Boral buildings at 1-1B Lamington Parade, North Ipswich.
Demolition approvals do not extend to 42-42B The Terrace, North Ipswich, which is listed under "character places" in the Ipswich Planning Scheme.