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

Bradken to shut down Ipswich foundry, 180 jobs impacted

MANUFACTURING company Bradken has announced it will exit its foundry business near Ipswich, impacting about 180 local jobs.

Chief Executive Officer Simon Linge says the company made the call after a strategic review of its operations and a decision to specialise in mining equipment.

The site near Ipswich primarily serves the industrial market, manufacturing contract castings to customer specifications.

"Our people have 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," Mr Linge said.

"We have a commitment to our people and our customers, and plan to phase the operation down over the next 12 months."

Mr Linge said moving away from operations at Ipswich, after being part of the Karrabin community for almost 50 years, was not a decision that was made lightly.

"We understand the impact this has on our people, many of who have worked with Bradken for a long time, and we are committed to supporting them to make this transition and take the next steps in their working lives, when the time comes."

One employee told The Queensland Times the news came as a shock to majority of staff members.

"Everyone pretty much knows we're going to be gone, it's just a matter of when," they said.

"It's a bit of a shock. I feel sorry for the younger guys and also concerned about manufacturing in Australia. We're starting to lose everything.

"They closed Runcorn recently and they've closed a lot of foundries in Australia. It's all to do with the global economic situation.

"We've got a big facility in China. They spent $120 million on building a few years ago now and they're trying to keep it busy, which takes a lot of the work away.

"That's why they closed Runcorn. China took a lot of the capacity they could do and more."