Posted on 16. Jan, 2012 in Victoria

The  Baillieu-Ryan  Government  needs  to  outline  how it will support the Goulburn  Valley  Food  Action  Committee during negotiations with Heinz to secure  regional  jobs  at Girgarre, Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development Jacinta Allan said today.

Ms Allan said the Baillieu-Ryan Government must also remove Heinz tomato sauce from government catering contracts.

“The Goulburn Valley Food Action Committee is working hard to secure the future of the former Heinz site in Girgarre to ensure new jobs are created in the region,” Ms Allan said.

“The Baillieu-Ryan Government should be actively assisting negotiations between the Goulburn Valley Food Action Committee and Heinz to secure the future of a food manufacturing and processing industry at Girgarre.

“The committee has been working hard to negotiate with Heinz to secure the plant and equipment, but needs to be actively backed by the Baillieu-Ryan Government to secure the local plant and create jobs.

“When will Mr Baillieu realise he needs to take charge of the state’s economy and secure jobs for regional Victorians?”

Ms Allan suggested Mr Baillieu review the use of Heinz products in future government catering.

“As Heinz has left Victoria for New Zealand, Mr Baillieu should leave Heinz tomato sauce off the government table,” she said.

“The Baillieu-Ryan Government can move immediately to ensure it only uses Australian made and produced tomato sauce in all catering contracts.”

Ms Allan said the recent closure of the Heinz factory at Girgarre and the loss of 150 jobs had hurt the region and it was important the Liberal National Government looked at ways to assist the committee.

“Mr Baillieu can start by delivering a regional job plan to support local manufacturing and jobs.  So far his only action has been to abolish the position of a dedicated Minister for regional jobs,” she said.

“The Baillieu-Ryan Government can no longer ignore the importance of job creation in regional Victoria – it’s time it stopped dithering and started growing regional Victoria.”

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