The Consul-General of Germany, Peter Silberberg, learned the Bundaberg Region is the location of choice for two successful companies, Superior Pak and Knauf, when he visited both facilities on Friday.
The Consul-General and his wife were guests of Bundaberg Regional Council following an invitation from Mayor Jack Dempsey to visit the region and learn more about local economic drivers.
Superior Pak is the largest supplier of waste management and compaction bodies in Australia with its production facility located in North Bundaberg.
Knauf has been producing plasterboard for the construction industry from its Bundaberg Port site for the past two years.
Herr Silberberg had an added interest in both companies through their German connections.
Knauf had its origins as a family-owned company formed in 1932 while in 2018 Superior Pak entered into a joint venture arrangement with FAUN Group, a European manufacturer of waste handling equipment and road sweepers.
FAUN is a division of the German based Kirchhoff Group.
The Consul-General was provided with an extensive tour of both factories. He was impressed with the fact that both companies had resisted the temptation to locate in a metropolitan area.
Superior Pak national manufacturing manager Mark Hamilton said the company employed upwards of 200 staff.
“Not all the benefits of working are contained in a pay packet,” he said.
“We have low absenteeism and very low staff turnover. The lifestyle opportunities in the region are attractive to many people.”
“We have been successful in enticing fly in fly out workers to return to this community and pursue careers with us,” said Mr Hamilton.
Consul-General marks a milestone with tree planting
The Consul-General was also invited to plant a tree at the factory site to mark a milestone business anniversary of the Kirchhoff family.
Knauf plant manager Justin Weier agreed with the sentiments expressed by Superior Pak in relation to job satisfaction.
He said that although the Knauf Bundaberg plant had a small workforce it was a very tightknit group committed to excellence in the delivery of the its product.
He told Herr Silberberg that the factory would produce more than 7 million square metres of plasterboard this year.
“One of the outstanding achievements of our team is the fact that it set a world record in limiting product scrap,” he said.
“In one reporting period we were the first group to break the one per cent scrap mark when compared to factories across the world. We just nudged under the magical one per cent mark with a figure of .9900%.
Herr Silberberg heard it was an achievement that resonated with his entire team.
Asked by the Consul-General what attracted Knauf to invest in the Bundaberg Region, Mr Weier said the availability of port space, the lower cost of doing business including purchasing a factory site, rates and the potential that existed in the Bundaberg Region and at the Port of Bundaberg.
Herr Silberberg said the visit to Bundaberg had been an eye-opener and he was pleased to observe first-hand the scale of investment and development in a regional city.
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