MG moves to sell Edith Creek plant

Tasmanian Country - - TRADES & SERVICES -

MUR­RAY Goul­burn says it is now fo­cused on sell­ing its Edith Creek milk plant, rais­ing hopes that the 120 jobs about to be lost could be res­ur­rected un­der a new owner and busi­ness model.

A spokesman for the dairy gi­ant said the com­pany’s im­me­di­ate fo­cus was on as­sess­ing what plant and equip­ment could be trans­ferred to other Mur­ray Goul­burn sites.

But it ap­pears the Edith Creek plant, due to close in De­cem­ber, is now firmly on the mar­ket, dis­pelling lo­cal fears it would be mothballed and stand as a re­minder of bet­ter eco­nomic times in the small North-West dairy town.

“As this process is pro­gress­ing, sale of the Edith Creek site is now a pri­or­ity,” the spokesman said.

He said de­tails re­gard­ing the sale of the site were com­mer­cial in con­fi­dence.

“Maximising value to MG and its stake­hold­ers re­mains a key fo­cus in con­sid­er­ing fu­ture op­tions for the site and any de­ci­sion is sub­ject to board ap­proval,” the spokesman said.

The com­pany stressed it would con­tinue to em­ploy about 55 peo­ple in Tas­ma­nia when the Edith Creek plant closed – at its Smithton pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity, the com­pany’s trad­ing store and in the field­ser­vices team, which works with lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

State Brad­don MP Joan Ry­lah, chair of the Cir­cu­lar Head Re­gional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment work­ing group, said tourism and po­ten­tial salmon farm­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties could also off­set the pain of the loss of the pro­cess­ing jobs at Edith Creek.

Ms Ry­lah said cre­at­ing jobs was a pri­or­ity while the group con­tin­ued to work to­wards se­cur­ing the fu­ture of the Edith Creek site, with the hope that it could be sold.

The eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment work­ing group had iden­ti­fied ways to ex­pand tourism through cruise ship vis­its and salmon farm­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, she said.

The State Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted $1.5 mil­lion to the work­ing group when it was es­tab­lished in May.

Ms Ry­lah said projects worth more than $670,000 had been iden­ti­fied to sup­port and re­train work­ers and con­trac­tors, cre­ate jobs and boost eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

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