Caterpillar Underground Mining moving from Tasmania to Thailand

The Tasmanian Manufacturing Landscape

CAT are moving their operations to Thailand and I’ve heard that the Tassie operation is their most expensive to run, so does it come as a big surprise when many companies on the mainland are moving their operations offshore to stay competitive.

They say orders are down significantly, so why will moving to Thailand increase sales? Will the cheaper OPEX be enough to win more business taking into account the added short term costs of moving operations? That doesn’t make sense to me. Fair enough if they were not competitive, but if orders are down, what’s the difference?

This brings me to the Tasmanian market in general. It is different from the mainland. It has the added freight costs making it harder, especially the cost for freight from/to Melbourne being high.

From my limited experience, Burnie is the industrial hub of Tasmania and with a big player like this going, what is going to fill the void?

Morale is already low when you speak to the people. The State Government don’t seem to be doing anything drastic or with urgency to inspire business confidence.

Let’s stop talking about problems… what about solutions? subsidising freight, tax incentives for employers to curb unemployment, enticing private investment, funding for state projects. That’s all government policy, so, what do you do when there’s no policy to drive change.

If business is down in the state, you need to win business outside the state which takes time & money and many businesses that I talk to are already looking outside the triangle that is Tasmania.

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