THE likely loss of 80 jobs in Wangaratta from the closure of Australian Country Spinners (ACS) has taken Rural City of Wangaratta mayor Ken Clarke and colleagues by surprise.
Bendigo Woollen Mills announced on Tuesday that it has purchased the business and would only keep a small number of employees on after the October 2 closure.
Cr Clarke said it “came out of the blue” and council staff have been meeting with employees to offer support and offer options.
“I am very disappointed because a lot of these people I’ve worked with over the years and they will now be unemployed,” he said.
The news hits Wangaratta at a time the unemployment rate sits at 5.1 per cent, similar to the Hume region’s figure and a 12-month low according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.
It also comes as Wangaratta faces a shortage of skilled workers based on the current ratios.