Federal refusal of a $25 million bailout for SPC Ardmona is a major setback for the region, the Victorian Government says.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan says the government is concerned about the federal government decision’s potential impact on local growers and SPC Ardmona (SPCA) workers in northern Victoria.
SPCA was counting on receiving a $25 million grant each from the federal and Victorian governments, but the Victorian component will no longer be forthcoming because it was conditional on a positive federal decision.
Mr Ryan urged Coca-Cola Amatil to continue working with growers, employees and the government to secure the company’s future in the Goulburn Valley.
He said the government is keen to continue discussions with SPCA on a plan to secure the company’s operations in the region.
“The Goulburn Valley is the food bowl of Australia and food production and manufacturing in the region has a very positive outlook with potential to grow exports and create new jobs,” he said.
Mr Ryan says the government will continue to provide practical financial support to the Goulburn Valley, adding food production and processing has a strong future there and should include SPCA.
He says the state government has established the Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund with an initial $5 million investment and will consider extra funding to secure the future of local families and businesses.
Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says the federal decision is a betrayal of the people of Goulburn Valley and the thousands who rely on the company for work.
“For generations the Goulburn Valley have been sending Liberal and National MP’s to Canberra and Spring Street and their refusal to support SPCA is just another example of these parties taking this community for granted,” Mr Andrews said.
“When they needed Denis Napthine and Tony Abbott most, these men turned their back on them.
“Rather than lobbying Tony Abbott to save these jobs, Denis Napthine has spent the last two days locked away in a talk-fest and too focused on attacking Labor.”