ACL reaches end of the line

A SIXTY-FIVE-YEAR chapter for one of Launceston's most iconic industrial employers will today come to a close.

ACL Bearing, formerly Repco, has been winding back operations with a reduced workforce of 136 employees since about June last year.

ACL Bearing receiver and manager Matt Byrnes said workers were last week advised of today's shutdown, and that the sale of some assets was ongoing.

Mr Byrnes said about 20 or 25 plant workers would be brought back for clean-up and further decommissioning activity later this month or in August.

``It will be a good three or four months before we're able to completely clear the site again, it's a bit unknown but it's a good estimate,'' he said yesterday.

``The feeling with employees has been really positive, once they understood there was no one to keep operations in Launceston.

``They've been really positive in working with us towards the wind-down.''

Mr Byrnes said meetings with suppliers, job skill networks, Centrelink and superannuation organisations had been facilitated during that process.

``We've been very conscious of employees and have tried to work with them as best we can to help them work with life after ACL,'' he said.

Interest from Asia and North America has been expressed for machinery, formerly used to create components for automotive manufacturer Ford.

ACL Bearing has been in receivership of Receivers Grant Thornton Advisory Service since 2009, a result of financial difficulties struck in 2005.

The manufacturer was formerly one of the region's biggest employers, boasting a workforce of 470 less than a decade ago.

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