Quarry under threat of closure

THE jobs of nine Boral Quarries employees in Yallourn North are under threat with the business’ closure looming within weeks if it cannot be sold.

A Boral spokesperson told The Express on Friday that while most of the 700 nationwide jobs to be shed as part of the company’s mass restructure would be “managerial and back-office support staff” and “generally not operational”, the Latrobe Valley-based operation was “unique”.

“The Yallourn North quarry is a bit unusual in that in December the nine affected workers were advised we had intentions to exit the operation or explore options to sell, but if we can’t sell then we will close it,” media spokesperson Kylie FitzGerald said.

The business is for sale and Ms FitzGerald said it would be “inappropriate to say” if there had been expressions of interest from potential buyers.

She confirmed, however, that if a buyer was not secured by the end of this month the business, which had been part of its portfolio for many years, would close.

“It is unique in that it is a higher cost operation for us and not really our core business… we are focusing in other areas.”

When The Express attempted to speak with some of the local workers they advised they were not allowed to speak with the media.

The news follows an announcement by Boral, just days ago, it would be “streamlining” its business via restructuring initiatives that would include 700 job cuts, with 200 having already occurred late last year and the rest expected to be gone by March this year.

“Redundancy and implementation costs” associated with those reductions were expected to cost the business around $60 million but managing director Mike Kane said, in a statement, that the initiatives would result in a “lower, more sustainable cost base”.

The need to make “some tough decisions” arose from a 100-day review of the business which found it had “excessive overhead costs” which had been “critically exposed when times are tough”.

The local quarry produces concrete and asphalt aggregates.