Cr Michael RyanHORSHAM Rural City councillor Michael Ryan has slammed the State Government for allowing CMI Industrial’s Horsham foundry to close.

The historic foundry, which manufactures car parts, will close on Friday, leaving 29 employees out of work.

CMI Industrial, Melbourne, went into voluntary receivership and administration on April 26 and then liquidation at the end of May.

The move affected up to four sites across Victoria, but the Horsham foundry is the only site to close.

Cr Ryan said he was disappointed with the decision.

“Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty says the government will do everything it can to help – I don’t know what that means,” he said.

“I don’t think the government has.

“As for the State Government’s Ararat Prison debacle – and I use that word politely – the prison expansion, which has gone into liquidation, is a government project and there is a Horsham business in difficulty.”

Cr Bernard Gross said he also had concerns about CMI.

“We need to have some discussion with CMI, the liquidators and the government over this whole matter,” Cr Gross said.

“CMI, as we know it, stems back to the old foundry north of May Park where the hotel now is and the service station.

“It has served Horsham for more than 100 years.”

The CMI website said the business could trace its history back to 1872 when it manufactured wood heaters.

Cr Ryan requested council meet Mr Delahunty to discuss the implications of the CMI closure and Ararat Prison project for Horsham, as well as meet with CMI.

“We need to ensure enough is being done,” Cr Ryan said.

“It’s too easy to walk away and say it’s not our problem, but it is.

“We need to do something and honour our commitment to the region.”

Cr Gross said in hindsight, council should have been quicker to act on the CMI closure.

“We should have thrown our weight behind the move to save CMI,” he said.

“But we now have an opportunity to attract other operations to our region.

“It is very much part of council and Wimmera Development Association work to roll up our sleeves and see what can be done.

“Lots of Australian jobs are moving offshore and if it continues, we will become a nation of consumers, not producers.

“We are losing so much important industry and we cannot allow any more to lapse in the future.”

Council’s corporate and economic director Tony Bawden said a council representative attended a CMI meeting at Wimmera Business Centre on June 25.

WorkCo, St Laurence and University of Ballarat were present at the meeting, along with representatives from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Centrelink.

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