ORANGE mayor John Davis is bitterly disappointed state and federal governments have not done more to support manufacturing in Australia and help keep the Electrolux plant open.
“Orange has been badly let down,” he said.
“Governments of all persuasions have a lot to answer for as I think there have been missed opportunities.”
Speaking on the eve of the shutdown of production, when the last refrigerator off the production line was signed by employees yesterday, Cr Davis said the contribution of Electrolux to Orange should never be forgotten.
“To think that this place, which was Emmco, Email and then Electrolux had up to 3000 employees at one stage and now it has come to this, is very sad,” he said.
VIDEO: Orange mayor John Davis addresses Electrolux workers:
Cr Davis said he appreciated the way in which employees had been supported following the announcement in 2013 the factory would close.
“Mark O’Kane has done a wonderful job of keeping up morale in a difficult time. I think he has been a very caring manager, concerned for the welfare of the employees,” he said.
“Everyone who has worked here should feel proud they have tried their best, right to the end, and they need to be congratulated.”
Cr Davis said while the staged shutdown of production over 18 months was designed to ease the impact of job losses on employees, it may have been a barrier to state and federal government support.
VIDEO: Orange mayor John Davis's message to the Electrolux workers:
“If, for example, there was an announcement this place was to close in a few days after 70 years of manufacturing, the state and federal governments may have come forward with some form of assistance,” he said.
Cr Davis said Orange has proved itself to be a resilient community.
“But it is still disappointing when one of our goals is to keep unemployment rates down,” he said.