DEVONDALE MURRAY GOULBURN: Cobram takes slice of $74m cheese plant

A Devondale milk tanker b-double truck arrives at the Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Kiewa factory. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

A Devondale milk tanker b-double truck arrives at the Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Kiewa factory. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

COBRAM is to have a $74 million new “consumer cheese” plant, Devondale Murray Goulburn announced yesterday.

The co-operative says it will build “a world class cheese cut and wrap facility” to serve Australian and Asian consumer and food service markets.

As well, it will invest $38 million in infant nut-rition products at Koroit and Cobram — also partly for export — and $14 million in Dairy Beverages at Edith Creek in Tasmania.

All the projects will be located at the co-operative’s existing sites and will be delivered during the next 12 to 18 months.

Yesterday’s announcement follows last year’s news of a $120 million investment in two new state-of-the-art daily liquid milk facilities in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as $19 million to increase UHT capacity at Leongatha and $5 million for consumer butter at Koroit.

Also announced last year was $2 million to increase cheese capacity at Cobram though the co-operative axed 38 jobs at Cobram in August after 30 jobs went in 2012.

Devondale Murray Goulburn didn’t indicate yesterday whether jobs might be created by the new investments, only that they “secure sustainable, skilled jobs in regional Victoria and Tasmania”.

Devondale Murray Goulburn managing dir-ector Gary Helou said the latest moves were another step forward in the transformation of the co-operative and the Australian dairy industry.

“We are investing in the future of Devondale Murray Goulburn to deliver higher farmgate returns, as we strive to navigate a new path to meet and serve the growing needs of international consumers and customers for Australian made dairy foods,” he said.

“The three projects involve investment in world-leading technology with state-of-the-art auto- mation for processing and packaging a range of dairy foods destined for Asian and Australian consumers.

The projects are dependent on upgrades to regional infrastructure.

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