Media release: Businessman saves last Aussie eyewear frame manufacturer
Media release | 28 August 2017
Brisbane businessman Gino Trigatti has stepped in to save Australia’s last eyewear frame manufacturer – Dubbo based Clive & Wally, with help from the NSW Government.
Mr Trigatti moved to Dubbo after buying the company, formerly named Optex, with his business partner John Hansen with a plan to reshape the business to focus on the boutique frame market in Australia and overseas.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro said the regional manufacturer received a $60,000 grant from private-sector led, NSW government backed Jobs for NSW to help with the purchase of new machinery.
“Gino and John have rescued a fantastic regional company which was on the brink of collapse in 2015 after more than 50 years in operation,” Mr Barilaro said.
”They used the Jobs for NSW grant to reinvigorate a business that was about to shut its doors, buying new machinery from Italy and France to compete on the world stage.
“This is after Gino and John injected more than $570,000 of their own money into the business with an aggressive strategy to supply unique frames to national and international designers.
“Clive & Wally now have nine staff but expect that will increase to 28 full time employees by 2020-21.
Mr Trigatti said the company would not have been able to upgrade its equipment without the grant from Jobs for NSW.
“We are the only eyewear frame manufacturer left in the country and if we did not receive assistance from the NSW Government we would not have been able upgrade the machines and secure new frame designers to supply global market.
“The Jobs for NSW team were incredibly good to work with - very supportive and very helpful and we are extremely proud that we are flying the Australian flag.”
Mr Trigatti said the move to Dubbo was challenging initially after leaving his wife in Brisbane for the first six months to tie up loose ends.
“At first it was tough but now we love the country area. It takes me seven minutes to drive to work and eight minutes in peak hour. The locals have been very supportive.”
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