Kerren Smith of J Smith and Sons, with the firm’s engineering manager Kevin McDonnell and their new Hydrapede, at the firm’s Gympie factory.
Kerren Smith of J Smith and Sons, with the firm’s engineering manager Kevin McDonnell and their new Hydrapede, at the firm’s Gympie factory. Craig Warhurst

Deputy PM: Smith closure ‘symptomatic of pressure’

DEPUTY Prime Minister Warren Truss says the closure of Gympie manufacturing business Smith and Sons is symptomatic of the pressures the sector is facing in Australia.

J Smith and Sons has gone into voluntary administration with the loss of 67 jobs.

Managing director Kerren Smith says poor economic conditions, competition from overseas and a lack of government support forced him to close down.

Mr Truss is the federal Member for Wide Bay and told the ABC that while many of the workers will likely find jobs elsewhere, they may need to leave Gympie.

"This demonstrates very clearly that the crisis in manufacturing in Australia is not just with big companies like Ford and Holden and Rio but it's also affecting smaller manufacturers and many of them in regional communities," he said.

"It's a demonstration that we must take action to try and address the high costs and the disadvantages that Australian manufacturing is facing.

"Now most of the employees from a company like JH Smith and Sons are skilled workers and no doubt they'll be able to find jobs in other places but they could be lost to our community and that's a loss that we can ill afford."

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