Circular Head community rallies around dairy workers

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Primary Industries minister Jeremy Rockliff and Braddon MHA Joan Rylah at the first meeting of Circular Head Regional Economic Working Group. Picture: Brodie Weeding

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Primary Industries minister Jeremy Rockliff and Braddon MHA Joan Rylah at the first meeting of Circular Head Regional Economic Working Group. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Edith Creek dairy workers are considering their options for when the plant closes in December.

Workers voted on Monday to fight for their jobs or form a co-operative if the Murray Goulburn facility closes.

Their cause has been taken on by the newly-formed Circular Head Regional Economic Working Group, chaired by Braddon MHA Joan Rylah.

The group has met once, using the Sustainable Murchison 2040 community plan as a base, and a second meeting on Thursday will put firmer plans in place, Ms Rylah said.

The group’s immediate focus is on looking after Murray Goulburn workers and their families, including counselling and training.

“The second focus is on creating jobs and keeping people in Circular Head doing sustainable, meaningful work,” Ms Rylah said.

“Edith Creek was a bolt out of the blue and was very difficult. It’s another blow to the community,” she said.

Murray Goulburn representatives will also meet with Ms Rylah this week and next.

“We’re trying to get to the bottom of what this means for the Circular Head community. Murray Goulburn is in difficult circumstances and it’s challenging for them,” Ms Rylah said.

A Murray Goulburn spokesman said the company had not deviated from plans to close Edith Creek and two Victorian sites.

“These have been difficult decisions to make and site closures were determined only after all options were considered,” the spokesman said.

“Our immediate focus is on assessing which plant and equipment can be transferred to alternative Murray Goulburn sites to continue or improve production. Once this process has been completed and relocation has occurred safely and effectively, we will be in a position to better consider future options for the sites,” he said.

Murray Goulburn will participate in the Circular Head Regional Economic Working Group to help support and forge solutions for employees and the community, the spokesman said.

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