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Industry Festival focus on value to Coast economy

Posted by Edgar Adams on 5 March 2024
Industry Festival focus on value to Coast economy

This month’s Central Coast Industry Festival will be a must see for all businesses that have a remote connection with our region’s manufacturing industries.

Because manufacturers hide out in industrial areas well away from residential and shopping areas they fly under the radar. This is particularly the case on the Central Coast where there are just over 1,000 manufacturing businesses. 

But they employ almost 9,000 people and they also depend on local suppliers and services, which in turn generates even more employment for the local economy. 

Total sales output from the region’s manufacturers in 2021 was $3.3 billion and our manufacturers exported $1.4 billion.

Manufacturing is the fourth biggest value-add sector in the region at $915 million.

While there are around 26,000 registered businesses on the Central Coast 6,000 or 37% have a turnover of less than $50,000 per annum. Only 1,500 have a turnover of over $2 million annually.

The bottom line is that the manufacturing sector is a very important part of the economy, and along with the construction sector is the backbone of the Central Coast economy.

Within the manufacturing sector is a large grouping of food and beverage manufacturers, the largest of which are Sanitarium Health Foods, Mars Food and Sara Lee.

Interestingly, the Coast’s manufacturing industries span a wide range of categories that include Boats and marine equipment, Building and construction products, Ceramics, Chemical products, Contract packers, Electronics, Foundry products, Furniture products, Medical, Pet products, Plastics, Powder coating, Textiles, and others.

Of the 32% of companies engaged in Building and Construction 40% are involved in Kitchen and Joinery and 18% in Window, door and screen manufacturing.

The point about all this is that the manufacturing sector on the Central Coast is highly diverse.

The Central Coast is a popular place for manufacturers to relocate as it is close to the major Sydney and Hunter region markets, halfway between Melbourne and Brisbane and close to seaports and airports.

It is the reason many Sydney companies are looking to locate in the region.  In fact, they would already be here if it were not for the intransigence of our Central Coast Council who make it impossible to get development approvals through.


In this issue we provide the complete story behind the ups and downs of Sara Lee and how they have been rescued by an Australian family.

The Quinn Family rescued chocolate manufacturer Darryl Lea some years ago and at the eleventh hour stepped in and took ownership of Sara Lee.

Until now Sara Lee was owned by US companies Sare Lee Inc and then McCains Foods.  Today Sara Lee is an Australian owned company with owners who are committed to its future in Australia and here on the Central Coast.

With over 200 employees they are very much an important part of our economy.


Speaking of manufacturing our congratulations to Somersby company Protective Fencing for taking out the Product of the Year Award at the Australian Security Industries Annual Awards.

Their Anti-Climb Mesh Fence is a tribute to the company’s commitment to innovation and technical excellence that has made them one of the most successful fencing manufacturers in Australia.

Protective Fencing is owned by Craig Gibbens and his family which he established twenty years ago to focus on manufacturing chain wire security fencing. 

They are one of the most respected businesses in their field in Australia. The Gibbens Family has a proud history in the wire manufacturing industry dating back to 1907. 


Finally, in this issue we welcome the global real estate agency firm Knight Frank to the Central Coast. 

Ty Blanch, who founded the LJ Hooker Commercial Central Coast Office over twenty years ago has partnered with Knight Frank that will change the commercial property scene on the Central Coast.

Edgar Adams


Author:Edgar Adams

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