Coast firms calm amid up­heaval

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - ALISTER THOM­SON

GOLD Coast busi­ness lead­ers say their op­er­a­tions are prov­ing re­silient in the face of on­go­ing stock­mar­ket volatil­ity, a fall­ing Aus­tralian dollar, and trade ten­sions be­tween the US and China.

The Aus­tralian stock­mar­ket has gone through its worst week since Jan­uary 2016, with $50 bil­lion wiped off the bourse in a global rout on Thurs­day.

Mean­while, trade ten­sions be­tween China and the US have seen Gold Coast com­pa­nies that in­di­rectly ex­port to the US via China hit by stiff tar­iffs.

How­ever, Alan Wade, who heads up Yatala-based ex­porter Digga, said the com­pany’s ex­pan­sive op­er­a­tion meant it could ride out eco­nomic peaks and troughs.

Digga, which ex­ports ma­chin­ery parts such as buck­ets for earth­mov­ing ve­hi­cles and gear­boxes, has a fac­tory at Yatala with 155 staff and an­other in Iowa in the US with 22 staff.

“The US op­er­a­tion is down be­cause they are headed into their win­ter but that means we in­crease our pro­duc­tion lo­cally,” Mr Wade said.

Tar­iffs have hit the com­pany due to its ex­ports to China for cast­ing, which is then sent back to Yatala for ma­chine work, then sent back to China and on to the US.

How­ever, Mr Wade did not be­lieve the im­pact would last.

Laser-cut­ting com­pany GCI Group, also based at Yatala, is head­ing into an ex­pan­sion phase de­spite the tur­moil.

Gen­eral man­ager Cameron Lawn said the busi­ness-to­busi­ness op­er­a­tion, which ser­vices ex­porters and lo­cal busi­nesses, grew by 25 per cent in the past fi­nan­cial year and had 150 staff.


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