EDITORIAL: Stability hopes for Downer EDI

IT'S hard to write this editorial, after saying in Monday's paper there was an air of optimism in Maryborough.

News of job losses at Downer EDI may be disheartening but I hope it won't knock that confidence too much, because there's still many positive things happening in the community - and there's plenty of room for growth.

The job losses are undeniably disappointing but they are not entirely unexpected, and they don't mean the end of the line for Downer or its staff.

The Downer work force is cyclical, taking on new staff as contracts arrive, losing them when the work is done.

It's no secret either that while it has its ups and downs, the workforce has been trending steadily downwards.

Downer employed 317 people in Maryborough just over a year ago, but the jobs have just trickled away, and it's now down to 237 local staff.

The company has primed its workforce to expect changes, as it moves from constructing new carriages to focusing on maintenance.

It might be a slightly rocky transition but the maintenance staffing needs are expected to be more stable, and the work will be regular.

There may not be the booms, but there won't be the busts either - and both Downer EDI and the Maryborough community will be able to build from that more stable base.

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