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Government rejects SPC Ardmona help

The Federal Government has rejected SPC Ardmona’s application for $25 million investment for innovation in the business.

January 30, 2014 5:00pm

The Federal Government has rejected SPC Ardmona’s application for $25 million investment for innovation in the business.

The food processor has raised the prospect of factory closures if government support was not forthcoming.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking after a cabinet meeting, repeatedly emphasised it was up to the ‘‘highly profitable’’ parent company, Coca Cola Amatil to find the money.

He also referred to the company’s enterprise agreement as being more generous than awards. In response to questions he said it was not about hourly rates of pay, but generous conditions, mentioning payouts for sick leave and various loadings.

He urged the company to renegotiate the agreement.

Mr Abbott also mentioned Coca Cola Amatil’s chairman, David Gonski, about five times, saying he was sure Mr Gonski would not let the workers down.

In response to a comparison to money given to Cadburys in Tasmania, Mr Abott said it was different.

He said the Tasmanian money was for tourism infrastructure whereas the SPC Ardmona money was a ‘‘grant’’ for operational costs.

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