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NSW loses 500 Electrolux jobs -

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EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Australia's last fridge manufacturer is set to close down, putting more than 500 people out of work.

The Electrolux board in Sweden has decided to end operations at its plant in New South Wales country town of Orange by late 2016. The plant produces 1300 fridges and freezers each day and contributes more than $70 million to the local economy.

TIM AYRES, AMWU: This has to be a wake-up call for the Commonwealth Government and the new minister Macfarlane. This is an absolutely critical blow to the New South Wales economy and particularly for countries jobs.

ELIZABETH MAJEWSKI, ELECTROLUX EMPLOYEE: Well I can understand Sweden's decision, but it's going to be sad for the community and Australia itself.

EMMA ALBERICI: Electrolux says the strong Australian dollar coupled with the high labour costs has made it impossible for the plant to compete with overseas factories producing cheaper goods.