Tasmanian foam box manufacturer threatens to close due to high energy costs


A manufacturer of foam boxes is considering closing its manufacturing operations in Tasmania due to high energy costs, serving as a reminder to everyone that it is not only the big global companies that are struggling to stay alive in Australia.

Free Digital Photos user winnond
Free Digital Photos user winnond

Polyfoam Australia’s Bridgewater plant is paying twice the energy costs of its facility in Melbourne, according to the company’s latest cost analysis.

The high cost of gas in Tasmania could push the business to cease manufacturing in the state, resulting to a loss of 16 jobs.

“Unless we are able to get something from the Government to be able to reduce energy prices here or our customers will accept a massive price rise, the company, and they have spoken about it, will cease operations here and just pick up what they can out of Melbourne,” said Polyfoam’s Tasmanian manager Greg Riley, quoted in an ABC report.

Mr Riley said the high overhead is pushing customers to purchase foam boxes from interstate suppliers instead.

“If something’s not done about it in the not too distant future, it will mean that the 16 people here will all lose their jobs.”

Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said he wants the issue to be raised with the Economic Regulator as no amount of blaming would be useful in the situation.

“We have to address the issue now otherwise we’re going to lose jobs and of course we can ill afford to lose 16 or 20 jobs out of any manufacturing business here in Brighton,” Mr Foster said.

According to the ABC report, the State Government said the Economic Regulator’s most recent comparison found that Tasmania’s energy prices were competitive for small business and at the upper end for gas prices.