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The end of Australian-made Passports

August 27th, 2015

Australian passports will be printed on foreign paper following the closure of Shoalhaven Paper Mill.

The July closure of Shoalhaven Paper Mill has hit the community hard, with 75 jobs lost.

What’s more, Australian passports and birth certificates will no longer be printed on Australian paper – a powerful symbol of the globalisation affecting so many of our local manufacturers.

Speaking after the announcement in February, Australian Paper’s chief operating officer Peter Williams lamented the closure. “We understand this decision will be difficult for employees at Shoalhaven who have witnessed machine closures at the site in recent times as market conditions have deteriorated,” Mr Williams told The Age.

“We greatly appreciate their sustained hard work and commitment over many years.”

At the time, secretary of the CFMEU Pulp & Paper Workers District Alex Millar said the job loss would compound a terrible few years for the local community.

“More than 10,000 jobs – 16 per cent of the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands workforce – have been lost since September 2013,” Mr Millar told The Age.

Following the closure of the mill, First Super’s financial advisers Viv Murray and Peter Scott took the opportunity to support those employees affected.

With the cooperation of Shoalhaven’s employees, Mrs Murray and Mr Scott advised union members of their options following the closure in July, and provided the knowledge and support required during the difficult time for both employees and their families.

Giving the members a chance to meet up for the last time, the Nowra sub-brand of the CFMEU organized a dinner for employees and their guests, sponsored by First Super on August 5.

The closure of Shoalhaven Mill was especially bad news for a community already suffering high unemployment.

The mill was a stalwart of the local workforce, beginning operation in 1956 and at one time employing over 600 people.


Peter Scott with Jack Evans at Shoalhaven Paper Mill