A major part of the workforce has been made redundant at de Bruin Engineering at Mount Gambier in the south-east of South Australia. Source: ABC News
The de Bruin Group, one of the regional city’s biggest companies, said the 21 workers to go were most of the staff at its engineering subsidiary.
It blamed tough conditions in the timber industry and a poor national economic climate for the job losses.
A corporate rescue created de Bruin Engineering out of the failed Timber Tech Engineering back in 2009. It makes products including farm machinery including the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD) and cattle grids.
Managing director Scott de Bruin said an upgraded workshop with new technology had failed to return the company to profit.
“Ongoing losses can no longer be sustained by the group, resulting in today’s significant redundancies,” he said.
“The decision to reduce operations has not been taken lightly or without exhausting all available alternative avenues.”
Mr de Bruin said the engineering operation would continue with a narrowed focus and hopes of new opportunities in the future.
Mount Gambier Mayor Andrew Lee said the job losses were devastating for the region.
“It’s really very sad for our community because there will be 21 families, breadwinners, without a job,” he said. “I feel for them, in particular if they’ve worked for the company for a number of years.
“It’s sad to see jobs going because our aim is to create jobs. It’s not just a problem for our city but the state and nation as well.”
The parent de Bruin Group has a range of business interests in the south-east region, including in aviation, property development and wagyu beef production.