Closing down DSI a shock, a shame

As of October, DSI International will be no more, ending operations that began in Lavington in 1971.
As of October, DSI International will be no more, ending operations that began in Lavington in 1971.

DSI Holdings’s closure in October will end operations that began at Lavington in 1971.

The announcement comes only six months after long-term Albury manufacturer, Macquarie Textiles, closed after almost 90 years.

A company statement said DSI had taken some time to consider all alternatives, but had not been able to find a “workable” solution.

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley expressed “major shock” at the DSI announcement.

Her office made contact with DSI management in February this year about the potential new work and has had no correspondence since those talks.

“I was led to believe future export contracts for DSI’s local plant were still in the pipeline,” Ms Ley said.

“This news certainly comes as a major shock.

“Obviously there are enormous challenges facing auto manufacturing right now and it’s extremely disappointing we’ve become part of that chain reaction.

“My thoughts are very much with the workers and their families right now.

“My office along with the federal government will do whatever we can to look after their interests.”

Member for Albury Greg Aplin said he had spoken this week with Chris Hanger, a senior official from the NSW Office of Regional Development, about future alternative job opportunities post the DSI shutdown.

“It is the end of a most significant contributor to our economy,” Mr Aplin said.

“It was the single- biggest employer at one time.

“Their research and world class intellectual property developed at the Albury site will be sadly missed.”

The pending closure will be the biggest jobs blow in Albury-Wodonga since BAE Systems shed 150 jobs at Bandiana in 2012-13 and the former Moore Paragon printing plant closed in 2011, with 70 jobs lost.

Last August 30 jobs were cut at the DSI factory when the October shutdown pending no further contracts was rolled out to workers.

Australian Industry Group regional manager Tim Farrah said DSI had been up-front about the possible October shutdown.

“It is still a shame and that is an understatement,” he said.

“How many tradespeople working in other businesses in Albury-Wodonga were trained at DSI over the years?

“Some of our own current business owners did their apprenticeships out there.

“It is further proof we are paying the price for being a high-cost economy.

“American manufacturing is starting to bounce back after the GFC.

“They took their pain, but are starting to reap the benefits.”

Mayor Kevin Mack expressed his regret at the decision.

“It is disappointing because you will have people out of work or unemployable with families to support,” he said.

“They have now got four months to consider their options.

“It is a significant blow to the local economy already struggling with current government cuts and the like.”