MORE than 500 jobs at Orange’s Electrolux factory hang in the balance as the federal government again requests management delay making a decision on the future of the Orange plant.
To make matters worse, federal member for Calare John Cobb says Electrolux has not re-submitted its business case for review, for $41 million funding from the Department of Industry.
His statement was strongly rebuffed by Electrolux representatives yesterday afternoon, who claimed their submission was sent to Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane last Wednesday.
“In light of the serious budget situation the federal government is facing, any proposal must have the approval and endorsement of the cabinet,” Mr Cobb said.
“Therefore, at the meeting we requested that Electrolux resubmit to our new government their business case, demonstrating their intention to remain in Australia for the long term, for cabinet to review.
“To-date, to the best of my knowledge, we have not received this. We do not have access to the business case that was submitted to the previous federal government.”
Electrolux corporate communications manager Craig McCarthy said, “Mr Cobb is obviously not aware of it but it’s definitely been re-submitted, it was done last Wednesday.”
Mr Cobb confirmed the federal government still wanted Electrolux to delay its decision before today’s board meeting.
He hopes they will delay the decision until December.
“At a meeting I arranged with Electrolux management in Orange on October 11, the newly appointed Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane urged Electrolux to delay their decision until their next board meeting in December to ensure the newly-elected federal government had time to properly consider their case,” he said.
“This is a huge decision for Orange and Minister Macfarlane made it plain the federal government will look very seriously at the long term business plan.”