Just five years APN News & Media Limited trumpeted the opening of a new, state of the art print factory at Ballina, the company has announced it is closing the facility due to declining print runs.
Ballina press staff have received their notice and APN are moving the printing of the Northern Star, Byron News, Northern Rivers Echo, Ballina Advocate to their plant in Yandina, on the Sunshine Coast.
A staff member told Echonetdaily that employees were asked on Tuesday June 18 to come to a meeting the following day, at which time they were given eight weeks’ notice.
The worker said they were told that circulation had ‘taken a hit’ and that the super site at Yandina, Queensland, also had a reduced workload from 400 tonne to 220 tonne a week.
By comparison, The Byron Shire Echo’s 23,200 weekly copies equate to about 3.7 tonne.
There is apparently not enough work to employ the 15 full-time and 20 casual staff at the printer and, while troubles in their print arm don’t directly relate to their media arm, this closure further diminishes any claim they had to be a multinational providing local employment.
APN’s share price yesterday was $0.25.