Carpet makers may keep jobs

INTERFACE Flor workers were relieved after the company announced it was not going to move its manufacturing overseas.

The Advertiser has confirmed the carpet manufacturing company is considering moving its operation to a site in Minto after a fire destroyed its Henry Street factory in Picton in July.

Yesterday Interface Australian managing director Clinton Squires said the decision to continue manufacturing in Australia was "wonderful news".

However, the option to rebuild in Picton will likely be ruled out.

"[That is] primarily because the delay a rebuild will cause," Mr Squires said.

"It is disappointing that rebuilding the factory in Picton doesn't seem economically viable.

"An existing building allows us to get our people back to work and to servicing our customers with local production as soon as possible.

"From a sustainable point of view it is important to note we will not only be manufacturing locally, with new equipment, but that the proposed site is much more efficient."

The company confirmed the site at Minto remained subject to negotiation, a development application and a diligence process.

If the company moves to the Minto site it intends to combine its warehousing and manufacturing operation.

The company's insurance policy covered about 150 full-time employees' salaries for 12 months.

Interface worker Christina Martins, who has been volunteering at St Vincent de Paul in Picton, said the company had looked after the workers from the time of the fire.

"We're happy to have a job, that's the feeling . . . particularly leading into Christmas," she said.

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