$2 billion Visy investment pledge
Anthony Pratt will invest billions of dollars into his cardboard and recycling empire, which is expected to create 5,000 new jobs over the next decade. The money will go towards a major expansion of Visy’s Australian operations.
“The $2 billion investment pledge I’m announcing will be spent expanding Visy’s manufacturing capabilities throughout Australia including new investments in clean energy,” he said.
“We are one of the most environmentally committed companies and so much of the $2 billion will be spent on technologies that not only create those high-paying manufacturing jobs, but also enhance sustainability and energy security.
“At the end of the 10-year investment program, Visy’s total investment in Australia will be $8 billion in today’s terms, and we will have created a total of almost 30,000 direct and indirect jobs,” he said.
Mr Pratt made the announcement with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the opening of Visy’s $1.1 billion pulp and paper mill at Tumut. The Tumut mill has recently received a $100 million upgrade.
“This shows what investment does. You know everything my government does is designed to encourage Australian businesses to invest. Why is that? Because it delivers jobs,” the Prime Minister told those attending the official function.
“Everything we’re doing is trying to encourage more investment and more jobs. So right across the board everything we’re doing is focused on encouraging investment of the kind Anthony is making.
“What you’ve got here is a demonstration of what you can do with the right technology, the right leadership, the right vision, the right investment. And we’re providing the incentives.
“In an industry which many people are pessimistic about - manufacturing - you’ve demonstrated that Australians can do anything and be world leaders and you are,” the Prime Minister said.
“We congratulate you, we salute you for the commitment you’ve made here and that you’re making to Australian manufacturing and Australian jobs. What a pledge - $2 billion over 10 years, 5,000 jobs. I tell you that’s a big commitment. That really moves the needle. That will change lives, thousands of them for the better,” Mr Turnbull said.
Visy Tumut is a $1.1 billion paper mill and the world’s most modern and sustainable facility of its type.
The high-tech mill manufactures paper from plantation pine logs and sawmill residues.
Annual production values exceed $500 million, with more than 60% of the paper exported around the world. This high export focus makes the Tumut mill Australia’s largest exporter of shipping containers of manufactured product. The mill’s focus on manufactured exports has a double benefit for Australia because it is helping to turn around Australia’s historic trade deficit in forestry ad paper products -- currently running at around $2 billion a year.
The Tumut project contributes around $1.5 billion of economic value to the Australian economy every year, plus major other regional benefits.
The project has created and sustains more than 3,000 permanent Australian jobs. These include 300 people employed within the mill itself, from engineers, computer operators, papermakers, environmental technicians to finance and marketing specialists.
A further estimated 750 direct jobs are within forestry, transport, contracting and servicing sectors, mostly in the South West Slopes region. These include 800 highlyskilled special maintenance workers who are brought into the region every year for essential annual maintenance of this technically-advanced mill. Flow-on employment generated within the region, the state of NSW and nationally, add another 2,100 permanent jobs.
Add to this the bog construction impacts with the most recent $100 million upgrade works employing around 1,400 construction workers throughout the two-year period.
This is stage three of a program of continuous investment in the Visy Tumut site, starting in 1998 with $450m, then a further $550m in 2007 and this $100m completed in 2017.
The mill is Australia’s largest continuous renewable energy generator from biomass, producing 31 Megawatts of renewable heat.
Visy Tumut also has the highest water recycling rate of any comparable Kraft mill in the world, and thus uses the lowest amount of freshwater per unit of paper production of any such plant.
The mill takes around 2 million tonnes of plantation wood -- forest thinnings and mill residues, and about 200,000 tonnes of waste paper each year.
Around two-thirds of that wood comes from the Eastern Riverina and Murray Valley plantations and the remainder comes from further afield (mainly from the Macquarie and Monaro Regions).
Many other benefits have flowed from this investment, especially in the region, but also of national significance, including:
• A long-term market for regional plantation forestry expansion
• Carbon sequestration
• Regional development
• Sustaining school and other government services
• Taxes and royalties
• Transport payments
What you’ve got here is a demonstration of what you can do with the right technology, the right leadership, the right vision, the right investment” -- Prime Minister
■ Anthony Pratt and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Visy Tumut mill.