After stopping news ink production there last year, DIC Australia has announced plans to close the 60-year-old Sydney factory at which a maintenance worker died five years ago.
With news inks now imported, production of other ink and coating products is being consolidated at the company’s site in Morabbin in Victoria, where a million-dollar upgrade is planned.
News ink customers in Australia and New Zealand – and some in Asia – have progressively been moved to imported product, some of which has come from Spain, although DIC still claims 95 per cent of the ANZ publication market. Other sources of supply include India, the UK and North America.
Last year, the company said sales had been falling at the rate of ten to 20 a year, with the bulk of customer print centre closures in 2020, coming on top of a news industry which was already under duress.
DIC Australia’s origins were as Coates Brothers, established in the UK in 1877, and as Lorilleux in France. Coates Australia was founded in 1949, the name change to DIC coming in 2004. Sydney became headquarters when subsidiaries were brought together in 2007, with "service factories" in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
The original buildings in Moorabbin and Auburn, NSW – where a tragic fatal accident took place in 2017 – had still been in use. The planned consolidation will include a multi-million-dollar upgrade in Victoria, including “state-of-the-art automation” of ink and coating manufacturing processes, with new job opportunities.