TOUGH TIMES: Mick Crowe has stayed positive about the turbulent times affecting Mackay’s businesses associated with the mining sector and to retain his G&S; employees.
TOUGH TIMES: Mick Crowe has stayed positive about the turbulent times affecting Mackay’s businesses associated with the mining sector and to retain his G&S; employees. Lee Constable

These two mining firms fight downturn

TWO Mackay companies are determined to not cut back on staff despite another blow to the mining service industry.

Turbulent times in Paget continued this week with 29 jobs at risk at G&S Engineering Services after a $2.5 million contract fell through.

MELCO Engineering also lost its share of the same mining contract but says it will not shed more jobs - yet.

G&S Engineering boss Mick Crowe remains upbeat, saying the contract loss was not a major blow considering the $300 million worth of work on its books.

Mr Crowe said between 25 to 29 welders and boilermakers employed at the heavy fabrications work shed are at risk but he wants to retain them by re-allocating to other contracts.

"We have opportunities to place all of these people at various work sites," he said.

"We lost a bucket rebuild contract. All the mines are looking for cost reductions and are desperate for ways to reduce their costs," he said.

"They live and die on how cost competitive they can be."

Mr Crowe said it was the same message everywhere as mining companies continue "cost cutting down to the last cent on everything".

With heavy fabrication work in decline Mr Crowe said G&S was working to expand into underground mining rebuild facilities. It will soon begin a 200 man project at a dragline shutdown in the Bowen Basin.

"Work is not easy to come by but there are still large chunks out there for businesses that provide cost-effective solutions," he said.

MELCO Engineering director Mark Clifford said it had felt the impact of the downturn and downsized over the past 12 months to 50% of its operational numbers.

"We have been severely impacted like G&S Engineering with the loss of a contract. We have not shed staff and do have things in the pipeline, so hopefully we can retain our workforce."



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