THE KORUMBURRA Business Association says Korumburra is “buzzing” after last week’s announcement of the $24.5 million expansion of the town’s largest employer, Burra Foods.
Funded in part by the Victorian Government, the expansion includes the development of an infant formula canning and packing line and will allow Burra Foods to export formula direct to the Chinese market.
The project is expected to create 39 much needed jobs in the local dairy industry and KBA president Noelene Cosson says it’s “super news” for Korumburra.
“For a town like Korumburra to grow and prosper we need industry, and expansion of our main industry is very exciting,” she said.
“Burra Foods has picked up so much milk in the past 12 months and it’s just going to continue to grow. It gives the dairy industry great confidence and the fact that it’s in our town is just great. The town’s just on a high.”
KBA secretary Shirley Arestia says Burra Foods’ announcement signifies confidence in Korumburra and that it’s not only the 39 new jobs that will benefit the town, but the guarantee of production for local milk suppliers, and the flow on effects to other local businesses as well.
“It’s the dairy farmers that are the real backbone of our area and when you’ve got somewhere for their milk to go, you’ve got that support there and the stability.
“There are a lot of other businesses that support dairy farmers too, so it’s just that progression.
“Once the farmers have some money they spend it and it just keeps feeding into the town and into the community.”
Noelene and Shirley are both born and bred in Korumburra and have seen a lot of changes to the town over the years, including the closure of the Murray Goulburn plant and the railway
They say even before the Burra Foods announcement there was already a very positive vibe building around town as a number of new businesses started setting up shop.
“We do have quite a little buzz of new business coming into town which is really exciting,” Shirley said.
“It’s obviously confidence in those people that they’re wanting to come in and develop something.
“They’ve seen that we’re lacking in some areas and they’ve decided to give it a go, which is really encouraging for other people. And if they’re passionate about it, it should work.”
Noelene says people from other areas are starting to discover the many great things Korumburra has to offer.
“We’ve got a very unique little town and it’s got a lot of things to like about it,” she said.
“There’s a bit of history connected to it and some lovely buildings and things like that.
“South Gippsland itself is an untapped beauty and Korumburra is more or less the start
of that.”
Shirley says as well as businesses, a lot of new residents have also come to Korumburra in recent times, attracted by its central position, which offers “the best of everything”.
“You can still get to Melbourne without it being a big long trip to get there, and we’re very close to the beach but you can escape the tourists a little bit. It’s just a really perfect location.”