Jobs promised as Moon Lake rises

Business. The sale of the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL) has now been finalised.

The VDL business and its assets have been sold to Moon Lake Investments with settlement today (Thursday March 31).

Moon Lake owner Mr Lu Xianfeng said today he looked forward to working with the existing board and management on plans to further develop the potential of the assets over the long term.

He said Moon Lake would work with Brand Tasmania to expand opportunities for value-added products and to further enhance the VDL brand in national and international markets.

Moon Lake has offered employment to all of VDL’s staff and management and plans to run the operation of the dairying business as it has been run in the past.

It will also continue to engage existing suppliers of goods and services on the same basis as supplied to VDL.

Mr Lu said Moon Lake intended to work with the existing management of the dairy assets to seek continued gains in productivity while continuing to supply milk to Tasmanian milk processors.

Increases in milk production and farm productivity will initially come from investment in the existing dairy farms and irrigation, and be followed by the development of new dairy farms on pasture that is presently being used for growing dairy heifers.

The company has also made a commitment to working with the Tasmanian government, the relevant federal and state agencies and the federal Environment Minister and other key stakeholders on a range of farming, Aboriginal cultural heritage and land management conservation issues.

VDL, as the former owner of the farming assets, had been actively managing these issues for many years.

Tasmania’s peak farming organisation, Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers’ Association welcomed the news of the sale last month, with CEO Peter Skillern saying it was good news for the industry and the state.

“Moon Lake Investments’ continued investment in the sector will further reinforce the importance of the dairy industry, and agribusiness in general, to the Tasmanian economy,” he said.

“We look forward to building a close working relationship with Mr Lu into the future.”

Liberal Member for Braddon Joan Rylah also expressed her approval, saying the “new owner’s investment in the property will secure the future of those employed and create new opportunities”.

“There has been great public interest in the sale, even though it has simply passed from one foreign owner to another, as it has for its entire history, but what matters most is what an owner does with the property,” she said.

“The new owner has plans to invest about $100 million and create 95 new jobs. This will have significant flow-on benefits for contractors and other businesses in the wider community.”

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