APN has started to switch production of two of its Queensland daily titles, with the last Bundaberg-printed ‘News-Mail’ last Friday, and Mackay’s ‘Daily Mercury’ set to move to Rockhampton early next month.
But there are “no immediate plans” for the presses at the two vacated sites, although mailroom equipment is being relocated.
APN Print chief operating officer Brian Hood says Muller Martini postpress inserting equipment from Bundaberg is being moved to Rockhampton, and that in Mackay to a New Zealand site.
GXpress understands the logistics of producing the extra daily titles dictated a change from original plans to close Mackay in July. Closing Bundaberg first has freed up postpress needed in Rockhampton for the Mackay ‘Daily Mercury’ to be printed there throughout the week, although some editions have already been produced.
Commercial work has already been moved elsewhere.
After originally planning to close the Bundaberg print site, APN relented and installed the first of four Indian-built Manugraph single-width presses in a new factory there in 2006. The breakthrough order was part of a programme of re-equipment which also saw a hybrid manroland Regioman/Uniset press installed at Yandina, Manugraph presses in Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Ballina, and the Goss Community press in Mackay upgraded.
Pressed on the future of two closed presses, Hood told GXpress, “no immediate plans means just that”.
APN has also moved out of heatset printing in New Zealand, selling some items of equipment and relocating others. Meanwhile, the former ‘Daily News’ plant in Warwick – now fully sheetfed – is being upgraded.
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