Uncertainty over the ongoing operation of the Mulwala ammunitions facility continues to grow, with July 27 considered by unions to be “critical” in terms of job security for more than 300 employees.RACHEAL WILLETT July 8, 2014 3:39pm
Tender negotiations for the Domestic Munitions Manufacturing Arrangements Project (DMMA) remain indefinitely suspended, leaving successor arrangements come June 2015 in limbo.
The original timetable called for a decision to be made on a successful tender late this year.
Mass meetings were held onsite in Mulwala and Benalla at the end of June, bringing together members from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Electrical Trade Union, Australian Workers Union, Professionals Australia and the National Union of Workers.
AMWU North East Victoria Regional Organiser Dave Corben said members were becoming “increasingly concerned” about the ongoing uncertainty.
Mr Corben said July 27 was a critical date for the ordering of materials to continue production at both sites.
He said the members were waiting to see whether that ordering would be done as scheduled and, if it was not, concern about the ongoing operations at both sites would be heightened significantly.
“Until the end of the month we will be waiting to hopefully get some good news,” Mr Corben said. “Seven hundred jobs, families and several communities rely on these two manufacturing facilities remaining productive and that is what we want to see happen.”
A Department of Defence spokesperson told the Yarrawonga Chronicle the DMMA negotiations had been suspending “pending consideration of the project by Government”.
The spokesperson said the department and Thales Australia Limited were working collaboratively to address a number of aspects not clearly defined in the arrangements – the spokesperson denied there was a dispute between the parties.
“The Department of Defence is developing contingency plans to enable ongoing operation of the facilities beyond 2015,” the spokesperson said.
Australian Munitions, which is part of Thales Australia, issued a statement to the Yarrawonga Chronicle on the DMMA dely.
“We are continuing to work closely with the Defence Materiel Organisation, and are discussing in detail plans for the future safe and continuous operation of the Benalla and Mulwala facilities,” the spokesperson said.
“This involves many complexities in what is an area of strategic industrial importance.
“We are acutely aware that our valued employees at the two sites, and indeed the wider community, are anxious to understand what the future holds as soon as possible, and we are doing everything we can to urgently move things forward.
“We have invested significantly in the sites, as has the Commonwealth, and are eager to continue growing our business and providing support to the Australian Defence Force.
“We remain on standby to assist the DMO and its contractors – Lend Lease and ATK – to finalise delivery of the modernised plant under the Mulwala Redevelopment Project, which has been the key factor in the uncertainty regarding the future of Benalla and Mulwala.”
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
TRUCKtalk magazine all the rage with local truck drivers.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
An unknown sum of money was stolen from Benalla Golf Club this morning after thieves broke into its gaming room.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.