An investment to secure manufacturing jobs in Ballarat has been made for one of the city’s most enduring companies, Laminex.
As part of the Regional Jobs Fund, the Victorian government announced yesterday it would support a $3 million project from Ballarat’s Laminex operations to grow its manufacturing presence. It is currently Australia’s leading producer of decorative surfaces, such as kitchen benches.
The Ballarat facility currently employs more than 130 people, with seven more people expected to be employed at the recently redeveloped plant.
The investment will assist the introduction of advanced reactive hot melt technology, expanding their range of high end products.
The Laminex Group’s manufacturing manager Martin Phillips said their Gregory Street West facility would house the new production line, with product creation happening over the next few weeks.
“What that line allows us to do is be more responsive to the market and get into some of the alternate decorative surfaces, most of which Laminex produces ourselves,” he said.
Ballarat businesses account for a third of the total manufacturing output in regional Victoria, amounting to $3.3 billion annually.
Laminex has been operating in Ballarat since 1970. The company launched in Brighton in 1934, operated out of a tin shed by Robert M Sykes and his silent partner Arthur E Beck.
Minister for regional development Jaala Pulford said at the launch that it was important to secure current manufacturing jobs during uncertain economic times.
“The grants programs are designed to support the create of new jobs, but also to help companies to adapt, innovate and secure the future for the long-term,” she said.
“As the economy has changed, we do have increasing numbers of people in insecure work, which they can’t count on in the long term.
“This will enable this business to be very confident about the next 50 years here.”
This article was updated for clarity on the cost of Laminex’s project.