Warren and Barry Thoms have consolidated their business to be based solely in Ipswich.
Warren and Barry Thoms have consolidated their business to be based solely in Ipswich. Rob Williams

Company finds its solid base

IPSWICH will remain a stable home for a 130-year-old family company that manufactures building products for some of the country’s corporate giants.

Thomas Thoms was recently forced to close two large Sydney factories and make 20 staff redundant due to the downturn in the building industry and increased competition with imported goods.

The total restructure of the business means the large factory at Wulkuraka – which the company has occupied for the past 15 years – is now the solitary home of Thomas Thoms – soon to be known as Thoms Industries.

General manager Warren Thoms said the company would continue to focus on the positives, which included a new deal with Masters Woolworths to supply metal roof and window flashings to their stores nationally.

“Shutting down the Sydney operations was not an easy decision, but it was one we had to make to secure the future of our business,” Mr Thoms said.

“We are also a primary supplier for builders’ plastic and rainwater tanks, so we feel like we’ve got an obligation to Queensland and the rest of the country.”

Mr Thoms’ father, managing director Barry Thoms, is the grandson of company founder Thomas Thoms.

He said moving the company up from its traditional home in Sydney had been a smart move.

“We are focusing more on the Queensland market – we originally came to this region because of its growth potential.”

Barry said the Federal Government should do more to protect the manufacturing industry, which he said was losing out to importers of lesser quality and cheaper Asian-made products.

“What they should be doing is charging higher import duties on products from cheap-labour countries,” he said.