Leading beverage and food company Lion announced it will cut 39 jobs from its James Boag brewery in Tasmania as part of its plan to transfer around 20 million litres of annual brewing volume from the iconic Launceston plant to underutilised facilities on the mainland.
James Brindley, Managing Director Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine Australia said the change will result in approximately 39 roles being made redundant, with additional impacts to contractor roles.
“This is not something we have taken lightly and is no reflection on the dedication and capability of our people at the Boag’s Brewery or the importance of the Tasmanian market to our business. We recognise the impact this will have on our people and we will be providing them with comprehensive support to help them manage this transition,” Mr Brindley said.
He said the transition, to be completed by the end of September 2016, will not affect any Boag’s beers, which will all continue to be brewed in Launceston.
“This change will essentially return the Boag’s Brewery to its traditional focus on the Boag’s portfolio of Tasmanian beers, which is still a very substantial 36 million litres,” Mr Brindley said, adding that Lion would continue to source the same high quality malt, yeast and Tasmanian Super Pride hops used to craft Boag’s beers from local suppliers.
“We have capacity in our national network and the Boag’s Brewery in its current format is also under-utilised. This change will allow us to reconfigure the Boag’s Brewery to a size more appropriate for the Boag’s portfolio, significantly improving efficiency.”
Tasmanian Minister for State Growth, Matthew Groom, described Lion’s announcement as “disappointing” and offered his sympathy to workers and their families affected by this decision.
“While the company has not requested assistance, the Government has ensured the Department of State Growth’s Skills Response Unit is available to help workers in this difficult time,” the Minster said.
“Lion’s decision is disappointing, but it is important to note that it has occurred against a trend of strong jobs growth in Tasmania, including in the North. Recent ABS data showed that unemployment for Launceston and the North-East has fallen 1.4 per cent since the March 2014 election, with 4200 jobs created across the Greater North.”