Greg Smith, general manager of the Boral-owned company, said processing staff were being made redundant.
“We have gone through a record boom in WA where the Housing Industry Association figures show there were in excess of 31,000 homes built in the state in the previous two years and this year it has dropped to in excess of 24,000 new homes,” he said.
“The prediction for 2017 is 21,000 and that figure is expected for another three years, so the demand is definitely down.”
Mr Smith said the downward cycle did not appear to look like it would be over quickly.
“We don’t like to lay off staff and it’s not easy for anyone in this cycle. We put on a new kiln to meet the demand in the boom but now we have to shut down one of our plants,” he said.
Mr Smith described the WA housing market as experiencing one of the biggest downturns in Australia.
“The eastern states appear to be OK at the moment but the cycle here is downward,” he said.
“People are leaving the state to chase work and new home construction prices are coming down in the trades, as well and vacancy rates are up. This industry was the third largest employer in WA.”
Mr Smith said the company had gone from making 200 million bricks to 150 million bricks.
“Sadly it’s a bad cycle all round,” he said.
A Midland mother, who did not want to be named, said her son had been laid off.
“We are very sad that this has happened because we feel like the company is part of the family really,” she said.
“We have four sons and when this one son got an apprenticeship at Midland Brick, we were all so happy for him.
“They have all done very well and we hope he will find another job, but it’s sad that this has to happen.
“He really loved his job and the company.”