Devastating outcome for colliery workers at Berrima

Thursday, 24 October 2013

24 October 2013

Member for Hume Angus Taylor says the closure of the Medway Colliery at Berrima is a devastating outcome for more than 30 employees who will lose their jobs. 

Mr Taylor was responding to yesterday's announcement by Boral, owners of the small scale colliery which has supplied coal for the kilns at the nearby Berrima Cement Works since the 1920s. 

"This is an extremely sad day for the Medway colliery workers and their families, many of whom live in the Hume electorate. Generations of employees have worked here and the colliery and cement works have been integral in building the wealth of the Southern Highlands," Mr Taylor said.

He said it was another example of businesses folding under the pressure of cheap imported products, in this case clinker.

"Boral has clearly pointed to cheaper imported cement material as a factor in its decision to close the colliery, as well as a downturn in building and construction. It's just become too tough to make a profit. 

"There is no comfort in predicting that there will be more of this pain. Many Australian businesses are struggling. 

"Industry needs to become more competitive to survive and the Coalition Government is determined to pave the way. We will cut red tape, abolish the carbon tax, reduce the company tax rate and progressively pay down Labor's record debt. We need a stronger economy to restore business confidence and, in turn, that will lead to greater competitiveness. 

"It is positive news that Boral is continuing to commit to the Berrima cement works, which employs 130 staff," Mr Taylor said.

"I have been assured by management that appropriate support and assistance will be given to the colliery workers who have been made redundant and their families."