Pain on paper trail

AustralianPaper has announced a major ‘turnaround’ business restructure following its fourth consecutive year of financial losses.

The decision is focused on returning the business to financial viability, and includes a review of all departments, with inevitable job losses starting at the Mount Waverley head office.

It comes after Australian Paper announced the upcoming closure of its Shoalhaven Mill this year, which will see 75 jobs disappear.

As a result, the Latrobe Valley’s Maryvale Mill will become Australian Paper’s only ongoing manufacturing facility that produces copy and packaging paper.

Australian Paper senior marketing sustainability manager Craig Dunn said the company was committed to local manufacturing, but sought more support from key stakeholders.

“We don’t see any major asset closures at Maryvale Mill or any major impact on the employment numbers,” Mr Dunn said.

“We’re certainly seeking increased support from the state and federal governments to increase their procurement of locally-made paper from Maryvale.”

Mr Dunn said the amount of job losses was unclear at this stage, but Australian Paper would continue working closely with all key stakeholders, including governments and unions.

“We’re committed to being a viable Australian manufacturer, but change is required,” Mr Dunn said.

“We do need the agreement and support from our key stakeholders to be successful in this process.”

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union secretary at the Maryvale Mill, Anthony Pavey, said he has spoken with Australian Paper about what these changes meant.

“It’s always concerning when your company is not making a profit, but we’re prepared to sit to work with the company to change that,” Mr Pavey said.

He said trials had already been undertaken, such as reducing shift workers and extending pay-rise time periods, which would help the company tackle Australia’s “ever-changing” manufacturing industry.

Mr Pavey said it was time all government departments committed to locally produced paper, to guarantee the job security of Maryvale’s 850 directly-employed people.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe called on the State Government to support the company during its restructure and prevent any job losses in the region.

“(Premier) Daniel Andrews promised he would fight for every job in Victoria and it’s now time for him to prove that to the workers at the Maryvale plant and the people of the Latrobe Valley,” Mr Northe said.