UPDATE: BENDIGO Liberal candidate Greg Bickley has linked the closure of Phillips Bricks and Pottery to the federal government.
But the company flatly denied the government had caused the McIvor Road business to close.
The Selkirk Group, which owns the Bendigo business, said 14 jobs would be lost in next month's closure.
Chief executive Simon Meadows said the rising manufacturing costs and red tape had made the business unviable, but said it was not the government’s fault.
“We won’t enter the political debate,” he said.
“The fact we’ve made this closure is a financial decision.
“The fact an election just happens to be on horizon has no bearing on the decision.
“It’s a financial business decision.”
Mr Meadows said the site was outdated and a recent kiln failure had caused the business to become unprofitable.
A press release from Mr Bickley said the government had a “lot to answer for”.
“The cost of doing business has skyrocketed,” he said.
“Australia has the world’s biggest carbon tax and electricity prices have gone up 94 per cent under the Rudd/Gillard government, making it extremely difficult for local businesses to make ends meet.”
Mr Bickley later said the government was not directly responsible for the job losses.
“But they have created an environment where businesses are finding it more and more difficult to survive,” he said.
Bendigo Labor candidate Lisa Chesters accused Mr Bickley of “just making stuff up”.
"It’s a man desperate to win an election .and he will say anything and do anything to win," she said.
“I believe it’s important to support companies and manufacturers.
“And if elected I’ll be working really hard to make sure we save every job we can in the region.
“I’m disappointed Mr Bickely cares more about making a political statement and a cheap shot than about these workers and their families.”
Mr Meadows said staff would receive redundancy payments and their entitlements and some may be re-employed at the company’s Ballarat site.
EARLIER: FOURTEEN people will lose their jobs when Bendigo-based Phillips Bricks and Pottery closes next month.
The McIvor Road business has been owned by the Selkirk Group since 1982.
The company did not return calls from the Bendigo Advertiser yesterday.
But in a press release, chief executive Simon Meadows said increased manufacturing and energy costs, and red tape, had forced the closure.
“A combination of an ageing manufacturing facility and the effects of a significantly depressed housing construction environment in Victoria have led to the business becoming financially unviable,” he said.
Selkirk Brick also has a site in Ballarat which employs more than 100 people.
Mr Meadows said Bendigo staff would be redeployed into other positions where possible.
He said the company would also make redundancy payments and provide job support.
“Selkirk remains committed to the supply of quality products and services to our valued customer base,” Mr Meadows said.