Brickworks Closes West Australia Branch, Cites Energy Costs and Planning Delays

Essay by Eric Worrall

The green zealots who run West Australia appear to have claimed another energy intensive industry scalp, with the complete pullout of a branch of Australia’s largest brick manufacturer.

Brickworks mothballs last WA plant, says State ‘doesn’t want industry’

Sean SmithThe West Australian
Thu, 27 April 2023 7:29PM

Australia’s biggest brick maker has accused the WA Government of turning its back on the company after closing its last brick plant in the State.

The move by Brickworks’ Austral arm to mothball its Cardup plant, in Perth’s south-eastern outer suburbs, will leave family-owned BGC’s Midland Brick as WA’s sole producer.

Brickworks said the closure of Cardup would leave the company selling from a year’s stockpile of bricks while it decides whether to quit WA.

Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge reiterated late on Thursday that the company had struggled to make money in WA in recent years, despite demand for new homes.

He blamed various factors, including falling housing starts and an inability to recover rising costs from price increases, but also rapped the WA Government over Brickworks failure to secure approvals for a new kiln at Cardup that would improved the plant’s viability by increasing its capacity and cutting fuel costs.

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Fuel and energy costs are an intractable problem in West Australia, thanks to a hostile regulatory regime, including bans on fracking and chaos in West Australia’s coal industry. Despite high demand for energy, for some reason West Australian coal miners are going bust – in my opinion likely because of excessive environmental regulation.

The West Australian governments zealous attempts to encourage renewable investment, to help transition the state’s industries to Net Zero, do not so far appear to have inspired confidence in energy intensive industries like Brickworks.

via Watts Up With That?

April 28, 2023 at 04:40PM

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