HISTORY buffs, former employees, engineers and the curious will be able to witness Australia’s last refrigerator factory in action before it closes in 2016.
Electrolux will open its doors to the public for tours from early next year until September when the factory starts to wind down for closure. Unlike a typical open day, the machinery will be in action.
Electrolux corporate communications spokesman Craig McCarthy said tours were expected to be held monthly, but the frequency could increase to fortnightly depending on demand.
“This is the last fridge manufacturer in Australia and it probably will be the last one ever because of the way manufacturing is going,” he said.
“People will actually see fridges being put together.”
The company will work with the Orange Visitor Information Centre to promote the tours to tourists.
When asked what sort of numbers the tours could bring, Mr McCarthy said an open day held on a four-degree day in June, without machinery running, attracted 450 people.
“That’s given us enthusiasm and encouragement to take it to a larger scale. It’s an integral part of the history of Orange. It will have been open for 70 years when the doors close for the last time,” he said.
Mr McCarthy said parts of the original building, which started as a small arms factory in 1942, making weapons during World War II were visible and an Australian coat of arms still marked the entrance.
All age groups are encouraged to take advantage of the tours, particularly employees’ families, past employees and community groups, however they need to be independently mobile. Tour dates will be announced as they draw closer.