In light of the news that Murray Goulburn Co-Operative will now look to the sale of the Edith Creek plant, Liberal Member for Braddon Joan Rylah has written an open letter to Chronicle readers. As chair of the Circular Head Regional Economic Development Working Group, Mrs Rylah has been involved in the task of distributing state government funds and planning ways to support affected workers and their families, and the wider community.
The announcement of the planned November closure of Murray Goulburn’s Edith Creek facility was a shock for the area, as workers and the local community sought to understand the impact this would have in the region.
In response, the state government offered immediate intervention through the establishment of the Circular Head Regional Economic Development Working Group and a commitment of $1.5 million to support the development of new job creation industries and provide training to affected employees in the region.
The working group is mindful that timing of intervention and support programs is critical, to ensure the community and displaced workers can participate pending the proposed closure on November 30.
The scheduled closure date has given the government time to make sure workers have access to these vital programs. The working group has taken immediate action to ensure that the diverse support that is required will be ready for delivery as appropriate.
Through the Department of State Growth we have promptly made funding available to workers to upskill, re-train and access support services through its Rapid Response Skills Initiative to support displaced workers and assist them to find alternative work.
The Rapid Response Skills Initiative also provides workers with access to services associated with job readiness, literacy and numeracy, training opportunities, business advice, financial planning including group sessions with Centrelink and targeted one-on-one sessions to cater for individual worker’s needs.
At the recent meeting of the working group it was pleasing to receive positive feedback regarding the rapid response team’s sessions completed recently. And during this meeting Murray Goulburn advised that priority will now be given to the sale of the Edith Creek site, reiterating that the usual commercial confidentiality will apply.
Again this was news welcomed by the working group who have been pushing to have the expression of interest process expedited to capture the interest investors have shown in the site.