Newcastle ship-builder Forgacs is set to close its ship maintenance operations at Cairncross Graving Dock, citing the strength of the Aussie dollar and the low costs of competing Asian shipyards as reasons behind the move.
“We have tried hard to avoid this outcome but cannot ignore the fact that our financial forecast and trading experience both confirm the closure of the site is the only option,” Forgacs CEO Lindsay Stratton said, adding that the closure would not impact the rest of Forgacs engineering operations.
According to the ABC, the closure of the historic 70-year-old site will result to the loss of 27 operational and office-based jobs as well as casual and labouring staff.
The job losses come after Forgacs said it would axe 100 jobs from its Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program in Newcastle.
Earlier this year the company warned that it may be forced to lay off 900 skilled workers if new navy work doesn’t turn up soon.
Cairncross Dockyard, which employed more than 200 permanent staff in its peak years, specialised in the maintenance of commercial and naval ships and was an approved contractor to provide ship repair and refit services for the Royal Australian Navy and the US Navy.