THEY walked out of the Electrolux factory on Tuesday, some in groups laughing and talking, others alone and silent, all aware their days producing refrigerators had ended.
As more than 200 employees - the bulk of the remaining workforce - said their goodbyes, Member for Orange Andrew Gee fired back at Orange mayor John Davis, rejecting his claims the state and federal governments had not done enough to prop up the Electrolux plant.
"Councillor Davis's comments were disappointing and plain wrong," Mr Gee said.
"What he said is clearly not the view of (Electrolux Orange's general manager) Mark O'Kane and the workers at Electrolux because they know all that has been done."
At a farewell lunch for employees after they finished their last shift, Mr O'Kane told the workers although it was a 'sad and sombre day' he wanted to acknowledge the help offered to employees and the plant.
"I would like to thank the state government for their support," he told the 300-strong crowd.
VIDEO: the last knock off for Orange's Electrolux workers:
Mr Gee said the state government had already shown a commitment to helping the plant stay open with $4 million in payroll tax rebates, as well as rebates of up to $6,000 for local firms to hire former Electrolux employees.
He also acknowledged the help of NSW Trade and Investment and other agencies who had assisted with retraining packages offered to workers.
Addressing Cr Davis's criticisms Member for Calare John Cobb said the decision to close the factory had been taken at an international level, disregarding the strong financial record of the Orange plant.
"They (Electrolux) made it clear they were never going to change their mind and that was early on in a meeting with Minister for Industry Ian McFarlane and myself," Mr Cobb said.
"There was no one on the international board of Electrolux from the southern hemisphere that was going to champion the cause of Orange and they told us at that stage there would be only one factory and their mind was made up it would be in Thailand," Mr Cobb said.