Bradken factory
Bradken factory

Calls for Bradken to release closure plans to staff

UNION members have called on manufacturing company Bradken to release its detailed phase-down and closure plan to its workforce, after it announced it would be closing down its Ipswich foundry.

The foundry has been part of the Karrabin community for almost 50 years and the decision to shut up shop will impact about 180 local jobs.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union Queensland and Northern Territory Secretary Rohan Webb said Bradken workers and their families deserved better.

“Vague mentions of a 12 month phase-down will only increase anxiety amongst impacted workers,” he said.

“If Bradken knows they’re closing in 12 months, they must have a plan. Bradken must release their plan to provide some certainty to their workforce.”

Bradken Chief Executive Officer Simon Linge said closing down of a foundry was usually done in stages and it wouldn’t happen all at once.

“Exact details of how that will happen are yet to be determined as we work with impacted customers to meet their needs, while they find other manufacturers for their products,” he said.

“Our people will remain with us for as long as there is meaningful work for them to do.

Bradken Ipswich Operations. Photo: Sarah Harvey
Bradken Ipswich Operations. Photo: Sarah Harvey

“When it comes time, staff will be provided with their full entitlements as per their employment agreements and we will support them to find other work, whether that’s within Bradken or externally.”

Mr Linge said the decision came after a strategic review demonstrated the company’s mining products and services had the biggest potential for growth and that’s where it wanted to focus its efforts.

“Bradken has worked hard to make Ipswich an efficient and viable operation, but declining customer demand, changing market conditions and the decision to focus on mining markets and products has resulted in the decision to exit Ipswich,” he said.

Mr Linge said while Bradken was a global company and it did have foundries overseas, including China, that did not have an impact on its decision to leave Ipswich.

“The foundry in China produces very different products to Ipswich, it has had no impact on the decision to exit Ipswich,” he said.

“Much of the work currently performed at Ipswich will no longer be done by Bradken anywhere.”

Ipswich is not the only site to face changes. Another Bradken site in Dunedin will also be wrapping up this year, while the company looks to sell its Innisfail site.



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