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MG stops factory expansion

In town: Murray Goulburn chairman Philip Tracy and managing director Gary Helou at Leongatha.

THE massive expansion of Murray Goulburn’s Leongatha plant has been put on hold.
The company’s managing director Gary Helou told The Star that on Friday.
When asked if any works were going ahead at the Leongatha plant as part of the 10-year plan started in 2006, Mr Helou replied: “No.”
Mr Helou said the expansion of the plant would be considered in the future.
“Leongatha is one of the major plants for us and expansion would be a key area of investment,” he said.
The upgrade was announced in 2005 as a project worth $135 million, including the installation of new technology and upgrading equipment.
The then Minister for State and Regional Development, John Brumby, was reported as saying the project would generate more than 200 direct and indirect jobs.
The Star was not able to ascertain the works completed so far under the project, nor the works still outstanding.
The news came soon after the company closed its milk powder drying operation at Rochester, cutting 64 staff.
The Weekly Times last week reported Mr Helou told suppliers in November he was going to slash $100 million from the co-operative’s operating costs.
“We’re looking for the amount of suppliers to rise and our production to grow,” Mr Helou told The Star.
“South Gippsland is a massive supply area for Murray Goulbourn and the dairy industry.
“We are looking to build up our suppliers because of the interest in dairy imports into Asia.”
Murray Goulburn is doing what it can to get the best prices for the farmers, Mr Helou said.
“We are reviewing everything which will be a good thing for the company; it will eliminate some extra costs for us and have positive returns for the farmers,” he said.
“This should be done in any business to see where costs can be met.”
MG suppliers told The Star they were impressed with Mr Helou’s speech at the meeting.
“He’s definitely here to make changes,” one farmer said, who wished to remain anonymous.
“But these changes look to be to the benefit of us which is great.”
Farmers are also feeling positive about the outlook of the dairy industry, with worldwide demand for dairy products growing.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=3163

Posted by on Mar 22 2012. Filed under Featured, News, Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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