Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

SPC Ardmona investment praised

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan urges people to continue supporting SPC Ardmona after yesterday’s funding announcement, but also warns it could mean less jobs in the future.

CHLOE WARBURTON August 21, 2014 5:15am

Reaction: City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan speaks about SPC Ardmona's investment decision yesterday.



Cr Houlihan welcomed the $100million Coca-Cola Amatil decision and said it was good news for the Goulburn Valley.

‘‘In times where there appears to be limited support for Australian companies, it is a credit to the Australian-owned Coca-Cola Amatil to invest in the Australian food manufacturing industry,’’ Cr Houlihan said.

Cr Houlihan said the new expansion plan would mean SPC Ardmona would have to change and create more efficient ways to manufacturing, as well as dropping some of their current lines.

‘‘There will be less lines, less products and they’ll try to achieve more efficiencies ... it will be with more automation and less building, and less building means there’s less jobs and less ongoing maintenance, so that is the downside,’’ Cr Houlihan said.

‘‘The upside is they’re still here, but it is definitely not the same ... they can no longer afford to expand the factory so that means that huge development won’t be able to take place, and that (will cost) local jobs.

‘‘On the other hand, they’re still here and they’re going to be going ahead with some new lines, but not all of the lines they wished to have.’’

Cr Houlihan stood by the council decision to not close Andrew Fairley Ave and said it was up to Coca-Cola Amatil and SPC Ardmona to make their plan work, and praised them for continuing their commitment to the Goulburn Valley.

‘‘The accolades should really go to them now because in a difficult situation, they possibly could’ve packed up and gone away, but they’ve stuck with us and I think they’ve made a really great statement on our behalf that they do believe this could work, and we have to be along with them,’’ she said.

‘‘What people must do is understand SPC Ardmona were not able to do a plan that would be best for their future, but they have come up with another one and we believe that is worthy of great praise and recognition.’’

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