In the lead up to the decision about the Environmental Sensitive Overlay (ESO) over the Burra Foods site, we would like to thank and acknowledge the high degree of goodwill that we have received from the Korumburra community about Burra Food’s role in the town.
The Sentinel-Times comment piece (8/7/14 p30) reported that there is wholehearted agreement that the jobs that Burra Foods delivers to this community have saved the town.
There is also consensus that the Burra Foods plant must stay.
Burra Foods is genuinely committed to adding value to Gippsland’s ‘world’s best’ milk, job creation and operating as a best-practice dairy operation.
With the Korumburra Butter Factory being established in 1900, the town has a proud heritage of supporting the wider dairying community in South Gippsland.
Dairy is the lifeblood of this town and outlying communities. It is the town’s economic driver and its future potential.
The plan to place an Environmental Sensitive Overlay (ESO) over the Burra Foods site is a direct result of a Victorian Government driven strategic plan for Korumburra.
Hence, the shire has guided us to an ESO to have developers consider the industrial nature of our use.
What occupiers of the site have done since 1900 and what we and do – food processing – is an industrial enterprise.
As the town has grown around us and regulations, guidelines and best practices change we need to address all the risks of our environmental footprint.
This of course includes noise and odour emissions and our compliance with a range of bodies including the EPA, South Gippsland Water, South Gippsland Shire Council, AQIS and Dairy Food Safety Victoria.
This plan is all about balancing the present and future needs of the town, the greater dairying community and Burra Foods.
Surely prudent planning is about maintaining and promoting Korumburra as a significant industrial, retail, service, residential and tourism centre in the shire.
We have always been committed to sustainable growth and will continue to cooperate with all stakeholders to get the balance right.
We are proud of the partnerships we have developed with our farm supply partners, the quality of the products and the customers who buy them.
To stop investing in capability risks falling behind competitors and failing our customers and eventually the business itself.
South Gippsland farmers produce clean, high grade milk and we should all be proud of that.
The demand for safe, reliable milk products is increasing and Burra Foods is well positioned to meet those demands.
The town of Korumburra can only benefit from these market conditions.
In their wisdom the shire is being proactive and supporting a site-specific buffer for future development, meanwhile we will continue to work closely on reducing our environmental footprint while continuing to implement best practice.
We will ensure the benefits of this plan outweigh the losses and follow the process designed to provide a balanced decision for community benefit.
We applaud the Sentinel-Times comment that the debate “could do without exaggeration and acrimony while the final position is decided”.
Grant Crothers, CEO/Managing Director, Burra Foods Pty Ltd