Manufacturing upgrade in Mount Gambier assembled and ready

Media Release

FN002/2017

19 January 2017

Joint release with:

Tony Pasin

Federal Member for Barker

Ray Grigg

Chairman, Beford Manufacturing

  • $1.05 million upgrade at Bedford Manufacturing now complete
  • Upgrades have increased manufacturing capabilities of the Mount Gambier facility
  • Major boost for disability employment in the Limestone Coast

Upgrades to Bedford Manufacturing, a producer of ready-to-assemble timber furniture for the Australian retail market, are now complete, with the official opening celebrated today in Mount Gambier.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the Coalition Government invested $527,000 towards the upgrade, which would enable the company to increase its manufacturing capacity, and employ more workers from across the region.

“Bedford Manufacturing is a leading employer of workers with a disability, and these upgrades will increase their capacity to employ and support more workers, providing significant benefits to the entire region,” Minister Nash said.

“My goal is to help build strong and sustainable communities and providing employment is essential in that endeavour.

“The Coalition Government is proud to work with organisations who foster and increase workforce participation in regional Australia.”

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin joined the Mount Gambier community today for the official opening of the upgrades which were completed in late 2016.

“Works included extensions to the existing facility as well as the purchase of a new timber moulder which has increased the plant's manufacturing and timber shredding capacity,” Mr Pasin said.

“Bedford employs over 1,300 workers with a disability across Australia providing them with job security and the support they need to succeed.

“I've seen first-hand the positive contribution Bedford makes to the Limestone Coast which will continue to grow as more employment opportunities are made available.

Bedford Group Chairman Ray Grigg said improvements to the facilities and new storage sheds have transformed operations and are set to boost production by over 30 per cent.

“We have already seen the most important fruit of this investment come to light with an increase of full-time jobs for people living with disabilities in Mount Gambier,” Mr Grigg said.

“Bedford is proud to employ 120 people living with disability in Mount Gambier and Millicent.

“We are very proud of the products we make, which begin production here and ultimately end up on the shelves of more than 300 Bunnings stores across Australia and New Zealand.

“This is a truly remarkable story, especially in an era of declining manufacturing, and we are very grateful and excited to see this upgrade securing our future and, more importantly, the employment of the people we support.”

The Bedford Manufacturing upgrade was jointly funded by the Coalition Government ($526,730) through the National Stronger Regions Fund and Bedford Group Incorporated ($526,730).