House debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Statements by Members

Nicholls Electorate: Tongala

1:43 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Nicholls, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Fifty kilometres to the north-west of Shepparton is a little town called Tongala. With a population of around 2,000 people, it is a small town but it has always punched well above its weight. Given recent planning developments, the town's manufacturing and agriculture sectors appear to be in for a very bright future.

In recent weeks it has emerged that New South Wales company Manning Valley Fresh is in negotiations with Nestle to purchase its Tongala factory with a view to manufacturing baby formula in the future. Manning Valley Fresh's Steven Elvidge hopes to finalise the purchase soon and hopes the investment will see an increase in employee numbers.

There has also been a recent expansion of Sunrice's Coprice business. Coprice operates a stock feed manufacturing facility at Tongala, and a recent acquisition by a parent company will result in production being ramped up at that site as well.

Just last week I had the opportunity to visit HW Greenham & Sons to learn more about their $55 million expansion plan. Greenham's been operating a meat-processing plant at Tongala since 1993 and now plans to significantly modernise that site. The upgrade would secure an additional 200 jobs, and that will put them in a very good place for the next 20 or 30 years.

I look forward to working with all three companies, and I'm confident that Tongala will play a huge role in helping the federal government reach its aim of agriculture being a $100 billion industry by 2030.