By Claire Moffat

The Australian consumer electronics industry, is saying farewell today to the Electrolux refrigeration at Orange in central west NSW, which is closing, after Electrolux moved all its manufacturing overseas.

Factory general manager, Mark O’Kane said not only will the closure be a blow for the town of Orange, but also for Australian manufacturers seeking to compete globally.

The closure means the end of more than 70 years of whitegoods production in the town and the end of an era for Australian manufacturing.

210 of the 300 employees at the factory will have their last day tomorrow while 90 will stay on for up to eight months decommissioning the plant.

The Electrolux factory was built in Orange in 1942 as a World War Two munitions plant.

When that closed a deal was struck with Email Ltd and a whitegoods factory was born. However, from 1946 the factory made household goods including fans, stoves, washing machines and freezers, but more recently it has been fridges only.

At its peak it employed more than 2,000 people and it was during this time the Queen visited it on her 1970 tour.

This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer.