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Volgren quashes closure claims

Volgren has dismissed claims it will close its Tomago service centre following its decision to stop production at Tomago

By Sean Muir | July 25, 2012

Volgren has dismissed speculation it will close its Tomago service centre following its decision to cease
bus-building at Tomago.

Volgren CEO Peter Dale (pictured) says bus production at Tomago has been put on ‘standby’ due to new bus orders in NSW being ‘all but dried up’.

But Dale says
Volgren’s Tomago service centre will continue to operate.

“The important message is we are certainly not closing the site,” Dale says.

“There has been talk around that, but it is certainly not the case.

“We have a very strong sales and service capability there.

“We are going to be focusing on growing that in the short term.”

Volgren announced early this week the NSW Government’s decision two months ago to tender NSW private bus contracts over three years had stopped new bus purchases in the private sector.

Dale says there are now insufficient orders to maintain the company’s Tomago body building operation, forcing Volgren to cease production.

“We are looking to continue to grow our business in NSW, but when the government stops buying buses there is not much you can do in the short term,” Dale says.

“Regrettably, we will need to reduce the number of employees at Tomago to a minimum until volumes return.”

Dale says the production halt will affect the jobs of about 40 employees.

“The focus as we speak is working with the guys and working out what we can do to get them some jobs,” Dale says.

According to Volgren, earlier this year, due to a drop in orders for NSW government-funded new buses and uncertainty over the panel tender process, Volgren cut staff numbers at the Tomago plant.

The company retained about 60 staff and reallocated work from interstate factories to keep the facility open.

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