Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ryan backs Andrew Fairley Ave closure

Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, who played a critical role in securing Victorian Government money to support SPC Ardmona, has backed the closure of Shepparton’s Andrew Fairley Ave.

DARREN LINTON May 2, 2014 5:05am

Close the road: Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan (left).


The government is contributing $22million to a $100million redevelopment of the Shepparton site to consolidate the company’s activities, streamline production and increase its competitiveness.

Mr Ryan, who was in Shepparton yesterday, said the road closure was raised during funding negotiations.

‘‘It was in the sense that SPC wanted it to happen because they see it as fundamental to what they are looking to do here on the site at Shepparton,’’ he said.

‘‘It will mean enormous efficiencies for them, which are important in the sense of what they are looking ultimately to achieve.’’

Mr Ryan said the government, on behalf of taxpayers, was looking to maximise the value of its financial commitment to SPC Ardmona and he backed the closure.

‘‘It needs to be as productive and efficient as it possibly can, the margins are not fat enough to be able to have areas where you don’t have those efficiencies able to be achieved,’’ he said.

‘‘The closure of the road will mean they can use that land very constructively for the the purposes of development of the new facility as we will know it. It is an important initiative.’’

Mr Ryan said he understood community concern about the impacts of the closure and urged Greater Shepparton City Council to initiate discussions with the government.

‘‘Should it be that the council needs to be involved in the construction of alternate infrastructure to cater for what might flow from closure of that road, we’re always happy to talk to them, we will certainly talk to them,’’ he said.

‘‘We want to get the absolute maximum bang for the buck out of the $22million, which is why the company being able to operate as efficiently and productively as it possibly can in what will be a substantially redeveloped facility is so critically important.’’

Mr Ryan would not speculate on whether Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy would intervene to ensure the company got the road.

‘‘The council is responsible for that and if they see fit to approach the minister that is part of the process they can pursue if they so desire,’’ he said.

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