MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has called on Saputo to be a ‘‘good corporate citizen’’ and open the Rochester factory if their deal goes through. The dairy processor is set to take over Murray Goulburn and all its assets for $1.3 billion next year but has quashed any idea of re-opening the Rochester plant.
“The news that the Murray Goulburn Rochester plant will never open its doors again if the Saputo deal is completed is very disappointing,’’ Mr Walsh said.
‘‘The job cuts have been a bitter blow to the town and to the Rochester economy but the community has remained positive and resilient.
‘‘Saputo has a responsibility as a good corporate citizen to ensure the Rochester site doesn’t just sit vacant in the middle of the town.
“They also have a responsibility to work with Rochester Open 4 Business to lessen the impact on the Rochester economy of the closure.
“It is now imperative that the Andrews Labor government provides resources to assist in both of the above.’’
Saputo chief executive Lionel Saputo Jnr said there were no plans to reopen the Rochester factory if Saputo was successful in taking over MG next year, but he left the door ajar if milk was to return to the business.
“We trust the evaluation that the MG management has taken,” he said.
“Again, with 1.9 billion litres of milk there isn’t enough milk in the system to support those plants reopening.
‘‘Until such time we come back to a higher level of milk and need incremental capacity, I don’t think the plants will open up.”