The Victorian Coalition Government says they are investing in a stronger farming sector
A new, state-of-the-art fresh milk factory in Laverton will create 50 new jobs and help Murray Goulburn remain competitive in the agricultural sector, Premier Denis Napthine said 3 July.
Dr Napthine officially opened the new plant today with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and said the fresh milk factory would help launch Devondale brand fresh milk.
“Devondale brand fresh milk will give consumers more choice in supermarkets and an option to buy 100 per cent Australian-owned milk, supporting Australian farmers,” Dr Napthine said.
“Importantly, the opening of this plant will see 50 highly skilled jobs created in this sector,” he added.
Murray Goulburn is a major competitor in the domestic and international dairy market, producing milk, cheese, butter, spreads and other dairy products.
“Laverton is Murray Goulburn’s seventh processing plant in Victoria and is capable of supplying up to 150 million packaged litres of milk annually, allowing the company to meet its 10-year contract with Coles to supply
fresh milk,” Dr Napthine said. He added that the new factory incorporates the world’s latest processing technology to deliver the highest possible quality standards, helping to position Murray Goulburn as the nation’s most efficient producer of milk.
It also incorporates environmentally-sustainable design features including built-in heat exchanges, oil-less refrigeration compressor technology and specially designed stormwater and trade waste systems.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the environmentally sustainable plant would result in significant energy savings and, importantly, would help to protect Victoria’s natural water system.
In 2013, Murray Goulburn processed almost three billion litres of milk, with the majority processed in plants across regional Victoria.
“There are about 2,500 Australian farmer shareholders who supply milk to Murray Goulburn and the majority of these shareholders are Victorian,” Mr Ryan said.
“With nearly 5,500 dairy farms operating in Victoria, the dairy industry is the state’s largest agricultural employer and a vital part of the Victorian economy.”
Dr Napthine said Victorian dairy exports were valued at $1.85 billion in 2012-13, which equates to 86 per cent of the value of Australia’s dairy exports.
“Dairy is a significant economic driver in Victoria, including the growth area of south-west Victoria, so this new plant is great news for Melbourne’s west,” Dr Napthine said.
“We are supporting growth across Victoria through initiatives such as the East West Link. Once complete, the western section of the East West Link will ease congestion for motorists, including heavy vehicles, travelling
from Laverton to the other side of Melbourne. By improving freight and logistics capabilities through projects such as the East West Link, we are increasing productivity in Victoria’s key industries, including the dairy industry,” he added.
The Victorian Coalition Government is continuing to build a stronger food and fibre sector with $41.2 million in new initiatives in the 2014-15 Victorian State Budget, including $35 million to boost exports of premium food and beverage products to Asian markets as part of the Food to Asia Action Plan.
In May, Murray Goulburn announced a $19 million investment at its Koroit facility to increase its capacity to produce nutritional products destined for Asian consumers. Annually, the Koroit site currently produces approximately $600 million worth of premium, mainly export destined, dairy products including powders for infant nutrition and bulk ingredients; retail butter, bulk butter, and retail milk powder.
Member for Western Region Bernie Finn also attended the opening. “This is another win for Melbourne’s west and will create jobs and boost the local economy,” Mr Finn said.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Magazine in Australia)