RAIS­ING THE BAR

Alpine Truss in­vest­ing $4 mil­lion to up the ante on Vic­to­rian com­pe­ti­tion

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY STEVE KELLY skelly@ ne­me­dia.com.au

ONE of Wan­garatta’s ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­nesses is in­vest­ing $4 mil­lion to main­tain its sta­tus as a lead­ing fab­ri­ca­tor of build­ing trusses in the state.

Alpine Truss has this week lodged a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion with coun­cil for a 2500sqm ex­ten­sion to its ex­ist­ing Tone Road fac­tory cost­ing $1.5 mil­lion, which will house new state of the art equip­ment worth $2.5 mil­lion.

The new com­put­erised tech­nol­ogy will put Alpine Truss ahead of many sim­i­lar busi­nesses in Aus­tralia as it will be the only one to have the USA-made ma­chin­ery.

Com­pet­ing against 86 other fabri­ca­tors in Vic­to­ria and with hous­ing de­mand ex­pected to slow mid-2019, Alpine Truss man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ge­orge Prothero said the build­ing ex­ten­sion needs to hap­pen quickly.

“If we don’t get this through, the other op­tion will be to scale down which we’re very re­luc­tant to do,” he said.

Alpine Truss’ client base cov­ers all of Vic­to­ria and south­ern NSW with eight truck loads trans­port­ing de­liv­er­ies to Mel­bourne ev­ery day.

“Wan­garatta is a great town for us and we get re­ally good sup­port from the builders but it’s not big enough, so Mel­bourne would be our big­gest market by a long shot,” Mr Prothero said.

“We need to com­pete with those in Mel­bourne and be­cause the market is start­ing to slow we need to get more ef­fi­cient.

“We’re will­ing to in­vest the money so we can se­cure the 120 jobs we’ve got.”

Growth cor­ri­dors in Gee­long de­mands a con­stant sup­ply from the lo­cal man­u­fac­turer with a truck vis­it­ing a house site ev­ery day, and the western and north­ern sub­urbs are also busy.

To­tal dwelling ap­provals in Vic­to­ria in the 12 months to Septem­ber 2018 were 39,499, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics (ABS).

How­ever, Mr Prothero (pic­tured) said banks have tight­ened up on lend­ing money and cou­pled with “as­tro­nom­i­cal” priced land in Mel­bourne the in­dus­try is ex­pected to slow by mid-2019.

“We deal in all the mar­kets from first home owner builds right up to sec­ond or third home­own­ers giv­ing us a large pro­file in dif­fer­ent parts of the in­dus­try, which helps us,” he said.

“Nor­mally one will be boom­ing and the other one won’t be and I see our mar­kets start­ing to slow.

“There are def­i­nitely signs of it slow­ing down so we just need to get more ef­fi­cient and be com­pet­i­tive in the market.”

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