By Michael Giles
THE $24.5 million announcement last week of an expansion of Burra Foods in Korumburra, featuring the development of a new infant formula line, an additional 39 jobs and an increase in exports to China was great news.
Korumburra is really kicking goals at the moment.
With support funding coming from the State Government’s Regional Jobs Fund to help get it over the line, it was clearly supposed to assuage some of the negativity surrounding Murray Goulburn’s 64 job cuts at Leongatha in the past month.
Also in recent days, ViPlus Dairy at Toora has announced plans to significantly increase the size of its workforce, presently 40, over the next 18 months.
So, while the loss of jobs at Leongatha is regrettable, it seems that we may well make up for some of it in the short term, with the long-term potential that MG’s Leongatha plant will rebuild throughput and employment under Saputo in the years to come.
We certainly hope so.
But ultimately if the processors want the dairy farmers to increase supply they are going to have to turn their minds to the imbalance in market power, identified by the ACCC in its interim report into the dairy industry, and ensure lucrative farmgate returns are firmly at the forefront of their strategic planning initiatives.
Everyone has unloaded on Russell Broadbent MP for not being prepared to back almost 63 per cent of his constituents in the marriage equality vote and that’s fair enough. It’s rare that the views of the electorate are so clearly enunciated as that and regardless of his personal views, which we can certainly respect, he should have voted with the majority of his own electors on this one. Mr Broadbent does however have plenty of credits in the goodwill bank for his principled stand on other issues so we should cut him some slack.
And how embarrassing is the South Gippsland Shire Council becoming!
Not only are councillors unable to set personal differences aside to get on with the job of improving our lot here but it seems that good governance has also gone out the window after the personal details of candidates applying for appointment to a council advisory committee were released publically.
Get your act together councillors, set aside personal agendas if you can, and start representing the voters and residents rather than yourselves.
We’re jack of it!