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Union calls for Tasmanian Government to buy Murray Goulburn’s milk processing plant
November 21, 2017

The union representing workers at Murray Goulburn’s milk processing plant at Edith Creek in Tasmania’s north-west wants the State Government to consider compulsory acquisition of the operation.

About 120 people at the Edith Creek site will be out of work unless a buyer is found by November 30.

In October, Tas Asia Dairy expressed “genuine interest” in buying the site on the condition it was sold as an operating dairy production factory.

Thailand-based company Dutch Hill is understood to be another interested party.
But no deal has been struck, and the Circular Head Community is becoming increasingly anxious.

National Union of Workers assistant general branch secretary Godfrey Moase called on the Government to mediate in the sale negotiations.

“Frankly, if we were just asking Murray Goulburn to organise a chook raffle in a pub, I would still have my doubts about that getting done in time,” he said.

Mr Moase said the Government should also look at compulsory acquisition.

“There is a space, to say we are going to buy the land and the factory, and we are going to tender it out for market for sale,” he said.

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said 120 job losses would devastate the region.

“It is not only the people at Edith Creek it is also the rest of the community, the business areas nearby struggle as well,” he said.

The company is the subject of a takeover offer from Canadian rival Saputo, but the Tasmanian site is not part of the sale.

Edith Creek Murray Goulburn workers last week voted in favour of a $4,000 increase to their redundancy payment.

Liberal Braddon MP Joan Rylan said the union was trying to politicise the issue.

“The Government is already working closely with all relevant parties to try and secure a positive outcome,” she said.

A spokesman for Murray Goulburn confirmed the site was still set for closure.

“The sale process for the Edith Creek site is well advanced. As previously announced, the site will be closed on November 30 2017.”

 

Source: ABC News



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