The Victorian Government’s $22m contribution to a $100m assistance package for SPC is a new and smart way for state governments to support jobs, according to Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie.
“While in the past, Governments have written blank cheques to multinationals who often take the money and run, the Napthine-Ryan plan features guarantees both for jobs and the taxpayer, for a company that has backed locals,” Senator McKenzie said.
The assistance is conditional on:
the parent company providing 78 per cent of the funding;
SPC employing at least 500 people in the Goulburn Valley for three years; and
the company refunding the taxpayer if it ceases operations within five years.
“The State Government offer is responsible, in that there are accountability measures, it is targeted and it doesn’t affect the bottom line of the government.”
“The significant outcome for the Goulburn Valley is the result of a huge amount of work by many different stakeholders over many months and shows what can be achieved when we all work together to address the local and international factors that challenged the company.”
Senator McKenzie said 2700 plus jobs had been saved by the Napthine/Ryan package, enhanced by a wide range of strategies to highlight the issues facing food manufacturing:
the Productivity Commission Safeguards Inquiry into the Import of Processed Fruit Products and Processed Tomato Products;
the successful Anti-Dumping Commission case against Tomato products exported from Italy;
the Goulburn Valley Industry and Employment Taskforce;
supermarkets decision to stock local product;
more consumers wanting to buy Australian made food;
State Government trade missions; and
public campaigns like #SPCSunday on Twitter and Toss a Tin in your Trolley on Facebook.
‘‘Our competitive advantage in Victoria is in our food processing and production capability,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
“The manufacturing sector is vital for regional Victoria’s future. More than 70,000 Victorians work in the food and beverage industry, which accounts for 47 per cent of Australia’s prepared food products.”
“The Goulburn Valley has natural advantages of climate, skills and infrastructure which position it perfectly for a sustainable and prosperous future.’’
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini 0400530027