The horse breeding operation, Darley, has confirmed it will cut jobs from its Cootamundra farm as part of a restructure.
The Twin Hills stud on Dirnaseer Road at Cootamundra was sold to the ruler of Dubai more than two years ago.
Darley’s general manager, Henry Plumptre, says the Twin Hills stallion operation will close by the end of June but the spelling facility will stay open.
It will mean the loss of 26 jobs including 12 casual positions, leaving 13 staff including managers.
Mr Plumptre says he has spoken to staff about their entitlements and will help them find new jobs.
“We needed to shut that stallion operation and get Cootamundra back to an operational level so that it is sustainable, but without being a complete drain on the resources of the company elsewhere,” he said.
“Everyone would have been aware, not just in Australia but around the world, that Dubai had an issue last year and that necessarily changes the parameters of how we operate.
“If that means that we have to make economies of scale and run our operations more efficiently then unfortunately there are circumstances which arise from that.”
Mr Plumptre says the company will do what it can to assist staff to find other jobs.
“If a staff member finds a job for example in the next few weeks and wants to leave they are still obviously paid their full entitlements, but they can leave anytime they like,” he said
“Those who request help from the company will be given that help.”
Darley’s clients will be asked to remove their mares from the property by June 30.
Mr Plumptre says Darley will continue to have a presence in the region in the short-term.
“We could never say the property will not be sold because if a suitable buyer came along who wanted to operate Twin Hills as a going concern and keep the staff on in a working capacity, we would probably be silly to turn it down,” he said.
“However, to get someone to take over a property like that and run it the way that Darley would run the property is very difficult and it’s not easy to find people who want to do that sort of thing, especially in a world that is coming out of recession.
“At the moment, we’re winding back to a sustainable level. We will keep it going in the short-term future and hopefully something will come up.”
Cootamundra Mayor Paul Braybrooks says it is concerning to see the jobs losses.
“Not only are they obviously very much an important prestigious facility in Cootamundra but they’re also an enormous employer,” he said.
“Also they’ve put a lot of money through the local businesses and the local community.
“Obviously job losses in a community is not something which anybody is happy about but I hope that in time they will return a lot of the tasks to Darley.”