Dobinsons outfit still ponders Thailand move after discount

Dobinsons Spring and Suspension co-owner Glen Dobinson tests the springs in his factory.
Dobinsons Spring and Suspension co-owner Glen Dobinson tests the springs in his factory. Austin King

IT MAY not be in the immediate future, but Glen Dobinson says if costs continue to rise he will move his business operations to Thailand.

Yesterday Rockhampton Regional Council decided that Dobinsons Spring and Suspension has to pay $50,280 in infrastructure charges to build a new shed.

Glen said while the concession was a step in the right direction, he questioned why he was being made to pay an infrastructure charge at all when the shed would not be impacting on council infrastructure.

"It just means my business won't grow anymore in the local area," he said. "(And) if electricity keeps going up I will stop manufacturing here, definitely."

Glen also said while he was proud to be based in Rockhampton, it made sense to move. "You've got to be cheap to be globally competitive," he said.

"Those costs have got to be added up… and they're going to impact on the cost of my product. I can get the same result out of Thailand (without the fees)." A credit from the demolition of another shed was able to provide them with a concession from the original amount of $68,530.

Cr Stephen Schwarten, who was not at the meeting, took the decision as a sign the other councillors were starting to "see the light".

"(When seconding the motion, Cr Rose Swadling said any smart business would look at what council was trying to achieve and not send their operations offshore. Mayor Margaret Strelow said the comparison between this case and the Ian Weigh decision, where the council dismissed planner's recommendations and reduced the infrastructure charges, was "based on ignorance".

The council gave Dobinsons the option of a staged payment plan.

Glen also thanked Cr Stephen Schwarten and Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne for their "instrumental support".

Topics:  planning and development committee rockhampton regional council

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