Five projects to boost employment in Manning

Success: Representatives from Jim Pearson Transport, Logan Leigh Benchtops, Steber International, Valley Industries and Croker Oars with Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie. Photo: Rob Douglas.
Success: Representatives from Jim Pearson Transport, Logan Leigh Benchtops, Steber International, Valley Industries and Croker Oars with Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Increasing employment and growth in the Manning is the consensus of five businesses following the announcement of funding from the Coalition’s North Coast Jobs and Investment package.

Almost $7 million will be spent on projects in the area which is set to create 206 jobs.

Funding will be made available to assist with the development of a transport terminal at Cundletown which will be operated by Jim Pearson Transport.

It is set to create 110 jobs.

Jim Pearson Transport financial manager Don McRae said the company only employs locals.

"We're a regionally based business and we employ all our employees in a regional area so having some government help so we can employ more people in those regional areas is fantastic for us.

"It's nice that the government recognises the importance of it and we're certainly keen to add to our employment numbers.

"We'll take as many as we can get,” Mr McRae said.

Logan Leigh Benchtops are gearing up to launch their Bamboo Building Products Manufacturing Facility.

Logan Leigh Benchtops co-owner David Embury said employment has been an issue in Taree for some time and is pleased the business can be on board.

"I'm not only happy for ourselves, I'm happy for Taree,” Mr Embury said.

"We're not only looking for an expansion of this business, we're ready further ahead of that to bring a new industry to Taree that we've developed.”

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Logan Leigh consultant Stuart Silver added 10 new roles will be targeted at unemployed people.

"For those who want to have a go, want to start off somewhere,” Mr Silver said.

Steber International is planning a fibreglass reinforced plastics and engineering upgrade.

Steber International managing director Alan Steber said the funding would help create an extension to the factory and be able to add new shipwright apprentices.

"It's going to give us the capital expenditure for improved software that we're looking for, that'll keep control of costs and inventory as well as the assistance for our export market,” Mr Steber said.

"We're going through a distant learning program which at the same time is going to give those families a lot more security bringing their children and young adults through the workforce but we're also going to be looking for more skills and trades.”

Valley Industries will create 15 new jobs with funding to be used to improve its Valley Linen service.

Valley Industries chief executive officer Trent Jennison said he was proud of the staff that worked hard to create the service.

"They've spent a lot of hours to build our laundry and this puts the icing on the cake for us,” Mr Jennison said.

"When we employ people with a disability, we also have to employ able-bodied people, the two go hand-in-hand.”

He added that employment can be a morale boost for people with a disability.

"It gives them a sense of worth, it is difficult for somebody with a disability to gain employment so by getting them a job it's a social outlet and it gives them a means to get up in the morning,” Mr Jennison said.

This is the new wave of investment in manufacturing and industrial growth in Taree and the Manning.

Dr David Gillespie, Member for Lyne

Meanwhile, Croker Oars is turning its attention to robotics and an upgrade to its manufacturing facilities.

Former Croker Oars CEO Howard Croker said the funding allows the business to “move forward” in manufacturing and add eight employees. 

"It gives us a lot of leeway to move into robotics. We've got to be competitive with Lithuania, China and America. You just can't afford to look backwards,” Mr Croker said.

He added that the business was proud to be able to keep production and employment opportunities in the Manning. 

"We don't want to go to China, we don't want to go to America. There are such talented people living in this area.”

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said Taree has been a manufacturing centre for decades and like many around the country, it has been under pressure.

"This is the new wave of investment in manufacturing and industrial growth in Taree and the Manning.”