Wellington Shire Council says it is disappointed by today’s announcement that dairy company, Saputo, will close its Maffra processing plant early next year.
In a statement Council said it was not forewarned of the closure, saying “while the announcement is perhaps not a surprise to many observers, it is nonetheless a significant blow to Maffra and surrounding communities”.
The Council has contacted Saputo and says it will work closely with the company and community members to determine support for affected employees and opportunities for future use of the Saputo site.
While Maffra is a resilient and growing community, this decision to close brings to an end an important economic and community piece of Maffra’s history that stretches back decades, said Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Ian Bye.
The Mayor has condemned the timing of the announcement and lack of discussion with Wellington Shire Council.
“Today’s announcement is disappointing in that there has been no discussion with the community or Council to leverage other opportunities or consider responsible transition for local employees,” he said.
“If you ask anyone in Maffra, they’ll tell you how important Saputo was for the region. It has been an integral part of the community for decades, and it’s now time for us to look at transition options for the future.
“As a council we are confident that with a number of different sectors looking for workers, we can start a conversation with Saputo and work towards a solution to benefit everyone involved.”