Water Journal : Water Journal April 2011
feature articles this country. Assuming the skills base can be maintained in Australia, or that skilled personnel return to Australia once economic conditions become more favourable to them, there can, however, be a relatively rapid correction when the $A falls. For manufacturers, however, the situation is potentially more dire. Risk to Manufacturing An example is Tyco Water's ductile iron pipe manufacturing facility located at Yennora in NSW. This facility is unique and has been in operation for more than 50 years. The labour force is skilled and efficient. The facility itself produces state-of-the-art product, but is capital intensive and not inexpensively replaced. The rising A$ means that the quantity that it exports has diminished significantly, while product manufactured overseas may now be less expensive than locally manufactured product. While there is no reason that a more competitive product should not win out, it is not inefficiency or high labour or materials cost at the Australian facility that makes it less able to compete, but a temporary fluctuation in the value of the currency. Says Tyco Marketing Manager, David Brady: "This is an unfortunate situation for the company and for our workforce. We know at some point the dollar will fall again and our workers will be as competitive as anyone, but as long as the dollar is high, we are losing sales to offshore manufacturers. "This can be sustained for a short period, but not in the medium to long term. The risks to this plant are now severe. If the plant is forced to close, it will not re-open and our capability will be lost to the Australian market. "I imagine that facilities operated by other manufacturers of water-related equipment are facing the same threat. It would be very sad if the Australian water industry lost so much of its capacity because of an aberration." feature article Ductile iron pipes produced by Tyco Water at its facility at Yennora, NSW.
Water Journal March 2011
Water Journal May 2011