Tasmanian Times

Economy

Jobs: Backing for ACL, mills in the balance

RACHEL WILLIAMS, Examiner

ROCHERLEA-based ACL Bearing Company will finalise by September its 14-point plan to boost the company’s performance, after the Federal Government yesterday stepped in to broker an industry deal to save the car parts maker. The Government agreed to increase its $4 million grant under the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program to $7 million. It follows failed emergency talks between the State Government and ACL over a $4 million loan that hinged on directors’ personal guarantees. The Commonwealth’s funds would free-up finances ACL had planned to spend on upgrades so it can repay a $3 million loan to GE Finance due today. Read more here

SUE NEALES, Mercury

THE future of Tasmania’s two paper mills at Burnie and Wesley Vale remains bleak. Comments this morning from the mills’ owner, Paperlinx, to the Australian Securities Exchange confirmed their financial situation is perilous and closure remains a real option. A statement from Paperlinx chairman Tom Park to the ASX detailed how a four-month-long review of the two mills had projected an “unacceptable financial loss for Tasmanian Paper in the current environment”. The two mills in North-West Tasmania employ more than 500 workers. Read more here

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